Originally published in Interiors & Sources

08/01/2014

ICC Considers 2015 Green Code

Energy efficiency mandates are among the issues under discussion

By Ron Burton

 
Energy Efficiency

This year the International Code Council (ICC) considers changes for its green building code – the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Approved proposals will be incorporated into the 2015 edition.

Following the ICC’s traditional process, two public hearings are being held this year to evaluate proposals. The hearings are conducted by IgCC code development committees whose recommendations are subject to the approval of ICC voting members. The year’s first hearing was held in Memphis, TN, in April, where the agenda included proposals with significant economic impacts on commercial real estate. In October, ICC will conduct public hearings in Fort Lauderdale, FL, after which voting members will cast their ballots.

Major concerns for the industry include proposals to restrict property sales, additional post-occupancy requirements for existing buildings, and more stringent energy efficiency mandates.

Successes for the Real Estate Industry

One of the biggest successes in Memphis came with recommended disapproval of the requirement that the sale of a building trigger retroactive compliance with the most recent energy code. The real estate industry has steadfastly opposed proposals to add any restrictions on property sales as an intrusion on the legitimate transfer of property as well as a violation of the basic legal rights of property owners. The proposed retroactive compliance with the most recent ICC energy code would, in most cases, require a very expensive upgrade to the building envelope, lighting, HVAC, water heating, and other building systems. With few exceptions, the proposal would have prevented a sales transaction from going forward if compliance had not been met.


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