Save money, ensure occupant health & safety and protect the environment all at once – with Green Building Codes!

In the past several years, we have witnessed Mother Nature wreaking havoc on the built environment humans have created for ourselves – from Hurricane Katrina to earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Japan to tornadoes in our own backyard. Green building and codes cannot save us from the destruction that natural disasters cause, but they may be able to lend a little extra protection.

Green building and energy codes go beyond basic health and safety. They push us to address social issues, such as accessibility, noise, density stormwater management and more. Best of all, green building and energy codes keep money in our pockets and city coffers by providing an opportunity to save money on energy bills.

So why all the talk about green building and energy codes lately? For one, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 calls for 90% compliance with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 2017. This code addresses wall and ceiling insulation; window and door specifications; heating, cooling and ventilation equipment efficiency and lighting fixtures among other building features. Homes built to IECC 2009 use 18 – 26% less energy than average and can save occupants $337 – $559 per year.

Compliance with IECC 2009 will look different from state to state. Illinois has already adopted IECC 2009 and is on the road towards implementation and energy savings. Missouri does not have a statewide energy code, but several local municipalities have adopted IECC 2009 including Clayton, Florissant, Hazelwood, Kirkwood, Lake St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Louis, Troy and Wentzville.

Adding to the buzz about codes, in 2009 the International Code Council (ICC) launched the development of the new International Green Construction Code (IgCC): Safe and Sustainable by the Book, a model code focused on new and existing commercial buildings addressing green building design and performance. In addition to health and safety of basic building codes and energy use of IECC 2009, IgCC addresses water and resource efficiency; materials use and indoor air quality. IgCC is still under development and will not be published until March 2012.

Want to learn more about IgCC? Join USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the St. Louis Chapter of ASHRAE on August 9, 2011 for a lecture by Dave Bowman, Manager of Codes for the International Code Council’s Codes and Standards Group. Dave will explore the theory, intent, and general structure of IgCC. He will also discuss the fundamental differences between mandatory and voluntary adoptions and enforcement as well as how IgCC relates to other green building programs and standards.

Learn more about the program here.

If you’re a local government official or employee and would like to attend the program FOR FREE, contact Emily Andrews at 314-577-0854 or emily.andrews@mobot.org.

Resources:

Green Codes 101: Navigating the Codes, Standards, and Rating Systems Webinar developed collaboratively by USGBC, AIA, ICC and ASHRAE

Missouri Local Energy Code Action Kit developed by the Building Code Assistance Project

US Department of Energy – Building Energy Codes Program

International Green Construction Code

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