With a shared interest in developing green building guidelines, a group of like-minded building professionals, energy and lighting engineers, sustainability advocates, architects, and standards writers have come together to develop a comprehensive model green building code designed to advance green building practices across the United States.

The organizations involved are the International Code Council (ICC); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); the American Institute of Architects (AIA); and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). These groups have launched the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), representing the merger of two national efforts to develop adoptable and enforceable green building codes.

Leveraging the strengths of all four organizations, the partnership will accelerate the proliferation of green building codes and standards developed jointly by the ICC, ASHRAE, USGBC, AIA, and IES. The IGCC establishes a regulatory framework for the construction of high-performance commercial buildings that are safe, sustainable, and by the book. A notable addition to the technical content of the IGCC is the inclusion of ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/AIA/IES Standard 189.1, "Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," as an alternate path of compliance.

"The emergence of green building codes and standards is an important next step for the green building movement, establishing a much-needed set of baseline regulations for green buildings that is adoptable, usable, and enforceable by jurisdictions," says ICC CEO Richard P. Weiland in a prepared statement. "The IGCC provides a vehicle for jurisdictions to regulate green for the design and performance of new and renovated buildings in a manner that is integrated with existing codes as an overlay, allowing all new buildings to reap the rewards of improved design and construction practices."

The IES's participation ensures that lighting issues enter into these guidelines. "IES is pleased to support the collaborative efforts of the organizations which demonstrate expertise in code and technical standards development in this comprehensive green building code," says Rita Harrold, IES director of technology. For more information about the IGCC, visit iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx.