ICC Launched Challenge To Reduce Buildings’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Published On
Aug 2, 2021

According to the International Code Council (ICC), Washington, D.C., as communities work toward reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing energy efficiency, modern energy codes are essential.

To help this effort along, the ICC launched its “Code on a Mission” challenge on July 27. The challenge aims to cover more than one-third of the U.S. population with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by the end of 2023. The ICC is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. The ICC’s codes, standards and solutions are developed to ensure buildings and communities worldwide are safe, affordable and sustainable.

“Reducing society’s GHG emissions is no longer a ‘nice-to-do’ but rather a critical necessity, and governments, communities and the building industry as a whole are increasingly recognizing the contributions of buildings,” said Ryan Colker, vice president of innovation at the ICC. “Luckily, modern and innovative model building codes like the IECC have already been developed to significantly curb emissions and help achieve zero-energy buildings.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy released its final determination on the 2021 IECC, finding that its residential provisions offer a 9.4% improvement in energy use and an 8.7% improvement in carbon emissions compared to the 2018 IECC code.

With “Code on a Mission” the ICC is challenging the construction industry, as well as communities, to update their building energy codes to meet or exceed the requirements of the 2021 IECC.

The new IECC incorporates a number of improvements for residential and commercial buildings over the 2018 edition. Some examples:

  • For residential buildings: new mechanical ventilation testing and exterior lighting requirements
  • For commercial buildings: updated mechanical equipment efficiency requirements, new provisions for data centers and plant growth lighting and increased lighting efficacy and decreased lighting power density requirements
  • For zero-energy buildings: code appendices for jurisdictions wishing to implement these requirements

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