Sustainable Construction Code, Language Made Easier With Sample Ordinance

With states and municipalities seeking to adopt ordinances that require “green” or sustainable construction, code officials at every level of government are scrambling for appropriate practices and language to include

Source: Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.

With states and municipalities seeking to adopt ordinances that require green or sustainable construction, code officials at every level of government are scrambling for appropriate practices and language to include. To assist local bodies in implementing green building codes, PCA has developed a free sample ordinance, “High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability,” that amends and appends the International Code Council International Building Code (IBC) to address high performance and sustainable buildings.

The ordinance is organized by chapter and section consistent with the IBC format and is intentionally limited to issues typically within building code, zoning or land use officials√Ć purview. There are no requirements for sole-source certification or fees that increase the initial project design cost. PCA has aligned the provisions with Whole Building Design Guide and High Performance Building Council concepts. Enacting and enforcing these provisions provides the basis for designers and owners to obtain U.S. Green Building Council LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) certification. The PCA ordinance also provides mandatory requirements for increased resistance to natural disasters with the goal of reducing the number of destroyed buildings while protecting property and saving lives.