Fort Lauderdale, Florida September 28 – October 4, 2014: The International Code Council’s (ICC) Annual Meeting and Conference brought together over a thousand code officials from across the nation and around the world, and NEEP was there, representing the region. The conference and annual business meeting offered educational seminars, regional networking events, and strategic planning meetings.
A global forum included policymakers and code professionals from around the world to discuss the challenges of code adoption and compliance in their respective countries. Japan, China, Africa, Canada, The United Arab Emerits including Dubai and Abu Dhabi were represented. A town hall style meeting was held to discuss a new ICC survey of code officials which revealed that upwards of 80 percent of current code officials and building inspectors will leave the profession through retirement over the next five years. The meeting discussed the challenges and opportunities this shift will present.
An expo of code related products and services was held as well as an award luncheon to recognize outstanding achievements by code officials and code related policymakers. In NEEP’s region, New York State Senator Betty Little was honored with the 2014 ICC Policy Maker of the Year Award.
As NEEP’s Building Energy Code Manager, I attended the International Code Council's (ICC) Annual Meeting and 2015 International Green Construction Code (IGCC) Public comment Hearings. The Public Comment Hearings are an opportunity for the ICC membership, (code officials and government employees), to vote on actions for changes to the IGCC taken by the IGCC Committee during hearings in April of 2014.
The International Green Construction Code (IGCC), provides model code language for states and municipalities to establish baseline high performance green design requirements for new and existing buildings.
NEEP offered testimony in support of proposals that would improve the energy efficiency and renewable energy requirements of the IGCC, make the code easier to apply and compliance and enforcement more straight forward. Specific proposals that would enable the use of cool roofs in climate zones four and increase the effectiveness of demand response where applicable, were supported through NEEP testimony. New ICC online voting procedures offer the opportunity for voting members to vote remotely within thirty days of the hearings; therefore we will not know the final results of the hearings till November.
On behalf of NEEP, I served on both the 2012 and 2015 International Green Construction Code committees which were responsible for vetting proposed changes to the code. I also serve on the Governing Committee of the ICC’s Sustainability Membership Council.
The Sustainability Membership Council of the International Code Council met on September 28, as part of the International Code Councils Annual Meeting. The Sustainability Membership Council promotes green building and energy efficiency to ICC members and makes policy, program and code related recommendations to the ICC Board of Directors. I was pleased to provide an overview of regional code adoptions of the International Green Construction Code. Within the Northeast/ Mid-Atlantic region there are six IGCC adoptions. Washington, D.C. for buildings greater than 10k sq. ft. and Maryland for all state buildings, schools and community colleges. Local jurisdictions within the state of Maryland may elect to adopt the IGCC and to date the city of Baltimore and Montgomery County has done so.
The State of Rhode Island, the first state in the country to adopt the code, utilizes the IGCC for commercial buildings 5000 sq. ft. or greater and the design and construction of all public facilities. Finally, a jurisdictional adoption in Keene, New Hampshire requires the use of the IGCC for projects awarded with urban development zone incentives.
The next in-person meeting of the Sustainability Membership Council will take place in Memphis, April 2015. Conference call meetings are held every six weeks, participation is encouraged. The 2015 ICC Annual Meeting will take place in Long Beach, CA September 27-29, 2015.
For more information on how to get involved with the promotion of high-efficiency building energy codes, please visit www.neep.org/BuildingEnergyCodes.