The International Code Council (ICC) is breaking new ground with the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Due this spring, it will be the first internationally acknowledged code focused on high-performance buildings. It contains a comprehensive and detailed treatment of high-performance-building strategies, including energy conservation and commissioning (Cx).
The GGBP is part of PlaNYC, an effort undertaken by New York City’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability to prepare the city for 1 million more residents, strengthen the local economy, combat climate change, and enhance quality of life. So far, PlaNYC has built and preserved parks and housing, enhanced mass transit, and made existing buildings more energy-efficient.
Recently, I collaborated with the Urban Green Council—the New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)—on a list of commissioning (Cx) pitfalls for urban commercial and institutional projects seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
In March, the International Code Council—with support from the American Institute of Architects; ASTM International; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the U.S. Green Building Council; and the Illuminating Engineering Society—issued the first public version of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). Although only a first draft, the IGCC is a commendable effort toward raising the bar in building quality. In particular, it is encouraging to see the commissioning (Cx) quality-assurance process defined more extensively than in previous codes and guidelines.
2009 saw the rollout of a major evolution in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green-building rating systems. The five rating systems cover new construction and major renovations, core and shell projects, K-12 schools, commercial interiors, and existing buildings. The oldest of these, LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), was released as a pilot program in 1998 and more fully developed as Version 2.0 in 2000. LEED Version 3 includes all five of these rating systems.
Across the United States, owners are looking to have their existing buildings certified under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System without bankrupting their operation-and-maintenance budgets. The only way for them reach that goal is to meet the requirements of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (O&M) 2009.
It was a brisk February morning and Johnny Tundra, the engineer from Big Timber, was on the road to Angela, Mont. The wind was kicking up a bit across the prairie, sweeping the snow across the highway in blankets of undulating white. The sun was bright enough to blind, and inside Johnny's International Harvester Scout station wagon it was easy to forget the outside temperature, failing to make it above zero.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) operates 10 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systems. Eight of those systems--LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB), LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI), LEED for Core & Shell (LEED-CS), LEED for Schools, LEED for Retail--New Construction, LEED for Retail--Commercial Interiors, and LEED for Healthcare--require commissioning. The other two--LEED for Homes and LEED for Neighborhood Development--do not. This article will compare and contrast the eight that do.
Part and parcel of winning a U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification is the auditing of submittal materials to ensure compliance with certification requirements. Unlike an IRS audit, this doesn’t have to be a heartache.