The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) development committee approved by a vote of 8-5 on May 4 a proposal to add what would be the first outcome-based compliance path in a model energy code.

The IgCC, which is updated every three years, defines requirements that need to be met for a new-construction or deep-renovation project to be considered green. An outcome-based compliance path would set targets for actual energy use once a building is in operation.

“Including such an approach within the 2015 IgCC will lead to a fundamental shift in how we design, construct, and operate buildings,” Ryan Colker, presidential advisor, National Institute of Building Sciences, who favors the measure, said.

The IgCC is developed by the International Code Council (ICC), which will meet for a final vote on the outcome-based compliance pathway and other proposals Oct. 1-5 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. With the IgCC committee’s recent approval, the proposal (GEW-147) needs only 50 percent of ICC voting-body approval to pass.

The IgCC committee approved the proposal after considering testimony submitted by an assortment of industry representatives, including the National Institute of Building Sciences, the New Buildings Institute (NBI), Building Owners and Managers Association International, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the International Association of Lighting Designers, Grundfos, Target Corp., and the Colorado chapter of the ICC.

“Buildings account for over 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States,” Ralph DiNola, NBI executive director, said. “The design community has the capability to bring that number down significantly, but is limited by prescriptive codes, which can restrict the innovation necessary to create ultralow-energy buildings.”