Code Green: Introducing Our 4-Part Series on LCA and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) as a Compliance Pathway in the New 2015 IgCC

PrintBuilding codes are important – for builders, for tenants, for the environment. They dictate the ways in which things will be built when constructing a building, providing guidelines to help all tradespeople build safely and efficiently.

Today, the leading organization in the building code arena is known as the International Code Council (ICC). ICC’s newest model code and their entry into the green construction space is the International green Construction Code, or IgCC. This code specifically focuses on building aspects that affect energy efficiency, like site selection, water usage, materials and resources, indoor air quality, etc.

Code officials and eligible members of the International Code Council (ICC) who vote on the code determine the specifics of the IgCC via a government consensus voting process. First passed in 2012, the second round of IgCC updates and voting for 2015 are now underway, and there’s a very small change we’ll be promoting this year: recognition of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) as ONE option for the material and resource pathways to compliance. This can ultimately make decisions and judgments easier and more defensible for code officials making an approval determination, in that they’ll be able to look at a material’s EPD and tell right away how it compares to other products in terms of lifecycle assessment, efficiency and environmental impacts. This is because EPDs are comprehensive, certifiable, and third party validated.

Coming up, our Code Green blog series will elaborate on what an EPD is anyway and how Product Category Rules (PCR) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) all fit together quite nicely. Stay tuned for more!