Maryland has adopted the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) as an optional requirement for new construction. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced his signing of IGCC legislation into law at the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Government Summit earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Maryland’s new International Green Construction Code Act (H.B. 972), which goes into effect next March, will apply to all commercial buildings as well as residential properties that are more than three stories high. The measure authorizes the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt the IGCC while allowing local jurisdictions to make amendments to the code under certain conditions as long as the local amendment is adopted in accordance with applicable local law.
The IGCC is a tool designed for jurisdictions to adopt into laws reducing the environmental impact of construction projects while keeping construction safety measures intact and enforceable. Recent IGCC adoptions also include the following: an optional code in Richland, Wash.; an alternative requirement for new public buildings in Rhode Island; and the nation's first tribal community enactment in Kayenta Township, Ariz., with an optional requirement with mandatory applications still under consideration. Fort Collins, Colo., approved extractions from the IGCC and the National Green Building Standard, ICC 700, as part of green building code amendments to the city’s building codes.
The IGCC is an "Allowable Green Building System" in the Keene, N.H., Sustainable Energy Efficient Development zone, a voluntary urban incentive-based area that promotes green building and redevelopment in its downtown. Fort Collins, Kayenta, and Keene are the first jurisdictions in their states to adopt the IGCC. The International Code Council expects several more state and local adoptions of the IGCC within the next few months.
IGCC’s cooperating sponsors include the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, USGBC, and the Illuminating Engineering Society.