The International Code Council (ICC) has been awarded federal funding to provide the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as a free download (registration required). The funding is part of an initiative to meet nationwide energy-efficiency goals through the Building Technologies Program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to Wayne Engebretson, Reed Construction Data, Norcross, Ga.

The ICC describes the IECC as “the only energy code that serves as a basis for federal tax credits for energy-efficient homes, energy-efficiency standards for federal residential buildings and manufactured housing, and state and energy code determinations. The 2009 IECC will produce approximately 15% in residential energy-efficiency gains compared to the 2006 edition, according to the DOE. As a result, homes and buildings built in accordance with the 2009 IECC — including schools and hospitals — will consume less energy and help the environment by reducing emissions associated with operations.”

Segueing from energy efficiency into the larger sphere of green building we come to the news that Rhode Island, small in size but big in initiative, is the first state to adopt the ICC’s International Green Construction Code (IGCC), reports Engebretson. The code adoption is part of Rhode Island’s Green Buildings Act, which identifies the IGCC as an equivalent standard in compliance with requirements that all major facility projects be designed and constructed as green buildings.

The law applies to any public building owned, leased, or controlled by Rhode Island that exceeds 5,000 sq. ft. for new construction or exceeds 10,000 sq. ft. for renovation projects. The buildings are to be constructed to the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified standard or an equivalent high performance building standard. Exceptions are possible if there is not an appropriate LEED standard or equivalent green standard for the type of building or renovation project to be undertaken, or if it can be demonstrated there is no practical way to apply the LEED standard or equivalent green standard. The regulations are scheduled to go into effect this month.

The IGCC was launched in 2009 by the ICC, and is the joint effort of a “Who’s Who” in design, building and standards associations: the American Institute (AIA), ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), USGBC, and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). The new code was designed with local, state, and federal law in mind and works as an overlay to the ICC Family of Codes. Among its many mandatory minimum requirements, it necessitates that energy performance must be 30% better than the minimum requirements of the 2006 IECC and requires plumbing fixtures and fitting flow rates are reduced 20% compared to the International Plumbing Code (IPC).

The IGCC Public Version 1.0 is available as a free download here.