ATLANTA — The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced that ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, now serves as a compliance option with the newly published 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) developed by the International Code Council (ICC). The change allows permit applicants — rather than the authorities having jurisdiction — the option to use Standard 189.1 as the path of compliance. In earlier versions of the IgCC, Standard 189.1 was deemed a “jurisdictional compliance option,” meaning code jurisdictions had to choose between the provisions of Standard 189.1 and the IgCC in determining which compliance path to take.

“ASHRAE is pleased to see this change take place, allowing building designers, owners, and contractors to choose to design to Standard 189.1, instead of the choice being made solely by the jurisdiction setting the code,” said Ron Jarnagin, ASHRAE president. With the release of the 2012 IgCC, “jurisdictions now have a viable green code at their disposal. Standard 189.1 stands on equal footing within the IgCC to provide a more complete set of options for governments and project teams alike.”

The 2012 IgCC serves as a new model code for green construction and remodeling of residential and commercial structures.

“The IgCC adds to the strong foundation of guidance to move the industry forward in regards to high performance buildings,” Jarnagin said. “The document brings together the code expertise of ICC with technical expertise of ASHRAE to create a comprehensive green building code to improve overall performance of buildings, including reduction of energy consumption.”

The IgCC was developed at public hearings with input from experts in code development and enforcement, architecture, engineering, building science, environmental advocacy, government, business, academia, and the public. It is the first model code to include sustainability measures for an entire construction project and its site — from design, through construction, certificate of occupancy and beyond. It establishes minimum green requirements for buildings and complements voluntary rating systems. The IgCC offers flexibility to jurisdictions which adopt the code by establishing several levels of compliance, starting with the core provisions of the code, and then offering “jurisdictional requirement” options that can be customized to fit the needs of a local community. A jurisdiction can also require higher performance through the use of “project electives” provisions.

Publication date: 04/16/2012