Jay Peters 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Green and Glad ICC advances its eco-friendly Codes in 2010 The building industry has been implementing sustainable design solutions for decades. So, it is natural these professionals across every area of construction have embraced the heightened “green” movement and corresponding code releases so wholeheartedly.PMG professionals in particular are leading the green charge towards ever improved sustainable design code applications in both commercial and residential buildings. While the ICC has been publishing “green” codes and provisions within its core set of International Codes for years, the Public Version 1.0 of International Green Construction Code, devoted exclusively to sustainable applications, was released earlier in 2010. The IGCC has been lauded by building professionals in every category of design and construction, not only for its outstanding provisions, but also because it incorporates every aspect of sustainable design in commercial and high-rise residential buildings. The IGCC offers many attributes, the key aspects of which are: • Comprehensiveness, which facilitates greening of entire buildings and sites, not just a part, or for only a handful of applications; • Specific requirements for a minimum level of sustainability in commercial buildings; • Approaches buildings and systems as an integrated whole to ensure that efforts to “green” one part of a building will not shift the environmental burden to another part; • Offers jurisdictions greater flexibility that enable code customization without time-consuming amendments for local factors e.g., climate, geography, or local regulations; and, • Provides multiple product and installation options, giving building professionals much broader design choices and responds to the widely varying needs of building projects. ‘Green’ Becomes Second Nature While the green movement is relatively new, the not-too-distant future of codes in general will naturally integrate “green” building practices instead of having separate references for sustainable applications. The IGCC is integrated with ICC’s complete family of codes and future editions of the I-Codes will incorporate these “green” provisions within the body of each code. It will soon become second nature to implement greener plumbing, mechanical and all other energy- and resource-saving practices. Naturally the IGCC also meets sustainable rating system (e.g., LEED, Green Globes) requirements, making it easier to implement green building practices and to achieve green rating points. Sustainability Without Compromise. The water- and energy-efficiency applications in the IGCC are particularly extensive and perfectly complement those referenced in the International Plumbing Code and International Mechanical Code, as well as the International Building Code, International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code. Public Version 1.0 of the IGCC already offered extensive, sustainable building provisions. Yet, during the public hearings held in August, the Code Council and its voting members further enhanced and expanded the provisions now available in Public Version 2 of the IGCC. This latest version, available for download on the Code Council’s website, [The download link is below—Ed.] offers even more water- and energy-conservation provisions, making it the most complete code overlay available.The dramatically expanded section addressing water efficiency is particularly noteworthy. Highlights of the water conservation and alternative water provisions in the IGCC, covering both indoor and outdoor applications, include: • Rainwater, graywater and other non-potable water systems, including municipally-supplied reclaimed water; • Water efficiency for water treatment devices and equipment like water softeners and reverse osmosis units; • Non-potable water use for toilet and urinal flushing, trap priming, irrigation, cooling towers, fire suppression, and water features; • Efficient fixtures, fittings and appliances, including faucets, toilets (e.g., WaterSense high-efficiency gravity flush toilets), urinals, dishwashers, washing machines, pre-rinse spray valves, showerheads, and drinking fountains; • Water- and energy-efficient hot water delivery system design provisions, including pipe sizing, layout, and insulation; • Sub-metering of individual water-consuming systems, tenant spaces, and buildings; • Landscape irrigation, including critical root zones of protected trees, limiting turf grass to 40 percent of vegetated site area excluding athletic fields, and other site water use; • Recreational and aesthetic water uses such as pools, spas, and ornamental water features; • Water efficiency provisions for commercial kitchens and laboratory equipment include combination ovens, film processors, liquid ring pumps, food waste disposers, sterilizers and autoclaves; • Efficient use and recycling of water in car washes; and • Cooling towers water use, including limits on permissible drift, minimum cycles of concentration on discharge water, and once-through cooling. Overflow alarms and conductivity controllers for all units are also referenced. The energy conservation, efficiency and atmospheric quality highlights contained in the IGCC include: • Renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines, biogas, solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, as well as other alternative energy technologies such as geothermal heating, energy recovery and management control systems; • Greenhouse gas and energy use reductions through improved building performance with measurement and verification of savings; • Energy use and atmospheric impacts, addressing emissions and methods for calculating carbon dioxide equivalents for a variety of energy sources; • Indoor air quality improvements by limiting VOCs, adding advanced controls, and using improved ventilation techniques and thresholds; • Energy metering, monitoring and reporting to ensure that savings can be documented and sustained for the life of the building; • Automated demand response infrastructure makes smarter buildings more responsive to user, environment; • Integrated enhancements to building envelope, mechanical systems, service water heating, and electrical power and lighting systems to ensure that savings in one area don’t cause increases in energy use in another; • Smaller HVAC systems can provide greater comfort, while saving energy and costs; • Specific appliances and equipment building on well-known programs like Energy Star; • Mechanical systems commissioning assures that systems perform as required from the beginning. Sustainable design is here to stay. Sustainable design and the codes that support it are not a passing phase, but a trend that will continue to evolve and mature. This will naturally result in the integration of “green” applications into standard construction practices. The comprehensiveness of the IGCC and the dedication to further enhancing an already outstanding code which the Code Council and its voting members have demonstrated are a testament to the commitment the entire construction industry has made to continuing to advance sustainable design practices. The two public versions of the IGCC presented by the Code Council in 2010 are just The beginning. Since sustainable design innovations are continually being developed and enhanced, future versions of the IGCC and “green” provisions in ICC’s other core codes will naturally evolve to incorporate these changes. Green may be the next big chic thing for Hollywood, but for PMG professionals, 2010 is simply the year that is finally revealing our longstanding commitment to resource conservation. To learn more about the excellent provisions the IGCC offers to help PMG professionals help to lead the green charge, visit www.Iccsafe.org/igcc or contact the PMG Resource Center by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-ICC-SAFE, x4PMG. You may also download a free version of the IGCC at www.iccsafe.org/ cs/IGCC/Pages/PublicVersionDevelopment.aspx Jay Peters is a Reeves Journal editorial advisory board member and executive director for the International Code Council’s Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Group. The ICC publishes building safety, energy efficiency and fire prevention codes that are used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. For additional information, call (888) ICC-SAFE, x4PMG, e-mail PMGResource- Center@iccsafe.org, or visit iccsafe.org/pmg.
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