New green construction code debuted
Washington, D.C. The International Code Council has released the first public version of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), intended to serve as a comprehensive standard for improving the environmental performance of new and existing commercial buildings.
The code aims to reduce energy use and cut greenhouse gases from buildings, as well as to emphasize building performance. It focuses on site development and land use, indoor air quality and promotes the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems and the recovery of greywater.
The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new standard is a section devoted to “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.
The code was developed in partnership with major players in the construction and buildings spheres, including the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerants and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the Illuminating Engineering Society and the U.S. Green Building Council.
The IGCC is open for public comments until May 14. Comments will be incorporated into a second public version to be released this fall, and the final version is expected to be published in early 2012.
Once the code has been finalized, it will be available for municipalities to adopt as their own local and regional building codes, and can be harmonized with existing codes.
Report: Home Depot to cut energy use by 20%
Atlanta The Home Depot has already cut its energy use 16% since 2004 – enough to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year — but the company wants to push that reduction another four percentage points to use 20% less energy per square foot in the next five years.
These changes include lowering lighting wattage and upgrading heating and cooling systems in its cavernous outlets.
Weis Markets Pa. store earns GreenChill certification
Sunbury, Pa. Weis Markets announced that its store in Hanover, Pa., is the first supermarket in the state of Pennsylvania to earn a certification award from the GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership, a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency alliance with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change.
The store attained a “Silver” certificate by meeting tough benchmarks for cutting emissions that harm the earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to global warming.
“We’re pleased our Hanover store has achieved GreenChill’s silver certification level. While we have long focused on ways to conserve energy and lessen the environmental impact of our stores, this project represents an increased commitment on our part,” said David Hepfinger, Weis Markets’ president and CEO. “In the coming years, we will look for opportunities to incorporate these technologies into the stores we build or upgrade.”