According to the EPA, buildings account for 36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity consumption. Much of Texas is in drought conditions, with many portions of our state in severe distress. As our society, government, and culture wrestle with the economics, politics, and ethics of these challenges, it becomes increasingly imperative that our buildings be designed and constructed to use fewer resources.
As the responsible representative of architects in Texas, the Texas Society of Architects has long been a supporter of sustainable standards for buildings, including ongoing programs of advocacy and education for our own members, the public, and public officials. To date, those standards, such as LEED and Green Globes, have been primarily voluntary. While these standards have been instrumental in raising the performance of buildings and in developing an educated and capable construction industry, they have not seen wide use in many building types.
The International Green Construction Code (IgCC), developed with a wide range of input from professional, industry, and governmental organizations, promises to be a game-changer, establishing a code that applies to a much wider range of building types.
Over the past four years, Texas Architects has monitored and participated in the development of the IgCC and provided significant input into its refinement and development. As a result of this rigorous development process, we now believe that the IgCC has become an effective and enforceable standard that will — for communities that adopt it — lead to buildings that are healthier for their occupants, use less energy and water, and have lower impact on our increasingly overstressed infrastructure.
In particular, we admire the inherent opportunity the IgCC offers to municipalities to “dial their own shade of green,” fine-tuning the code to best address their specific needs and priorities.
The Texas Society of Architects has developed this Road Map to guide those officials contemplating or actually adopting the IgCC. We applaud such efforts and hope that all such leaders will consider Texas Architects as their trusted advisor in this process.
A Road Map for the Adoption of the 2012 International Green Construction Code
© 2013 Texas Society of Architects