Jeremy Sigmon, manager of building codes advocacy at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) made available a panel discussion he convened on Oct. 7 at Greenbuild in Toronto. Look for the podcast by title, “Greenbuild 2011 Specialty Update: LEED and Green Building Codes in the Context of Public Policy and Law” (11-15-2011), in the USGBC Knowledge Exchange Podcast Feed. The opening comments evoke a world where the word green once more refers to a color, and that’s all. A world where what we call green today has become the norm. Sigmon views the advent of new, green model codes, most significantly the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), as the first step toward all building codes becoming green.
Starting with a brief overview of code and standards, he points out a striking difference between building codes of today and those of years ago, when codes were originally written in response to disasters. Now our codes attempt to do something different--act proactively to forestall the potential disaster of climate change, as well as redefine public health and safety to include future generations in the consideration. The development and implementation of California’s statewide green code, Cal Green, is discussed in depth as an example of the challenges we face when green building moves from a small, vanguard of builders and designers aspiring to achieve green ratings to the general building, design, and inspection community, adopting unfamiliar mandates that are not only new, but change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as building codes do.
While on i-Tunes, you’ll discover that the USGBC offers nearly 50 recorded lectures, so scroll down the list searching for topics of interest. If you’re a LEED newbie, watch “Getting Started with the LEED for Homes Scoring Tool” (8-30-2011).