Maryland Gov.Martin O’Malley has signed into law the adoption of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), enabling local governments across the state of Maryland to adopt the code. The law complements the state’s existing green building policy, which requires state-owned buildings and state-funded schools to be designed and built to LEED Silver levels. The state also offers a corporate and personal income tax credit through the end of 2011 for green buildings that fulfilled their goals by July 2009.

The IGCC addresses energy use, water use, material and resource use, indoor environment quality, and building impacts on the environment such as greenhouse gas emissions, site design, exiting buildings, and sustainability education for owners and facility management. Designed to provide a regulatory framework regarding sustainability in commercial buildings, the IGCC was developed by a Sustainable Building Technology Committee created by the International Code Council (ICC) board of directors. The American Institute of Architects and ASTM International served as cooperating sponsors.

As previously reported by ECO-STRUCTURE, the IGCC is not designed to compete with other codes or standards, but to coordinate or integrate with existing International Codes to provide minimum regulations for buildings and systems using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. For example, the IGCC uses the requirements of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Codes as its baseline energy provision. In addition, recognizing potential conflicts in the marketplace, the ICC worked with ASHRAE, the USGBC, and the Illuminating Engineers Society to incorporate ASHRAE Standard 189.1 into the technical content of the IGCC as an alternative path of compliance.

The IGCC is currently undergoing comment and revision on a second published public version and is set for a 2012 launch.