Green Building Code Reinforces Sustainability Trend
Sustainability is hot these days. The trend toward both adopting more energy-efficient and eco-friendly practices at home, and tackling more
substantial green building and green retro-fits in business continues to rise across the country. These efforts will now be supported and regulated by
the newly developed International Green Construction Code (IGCC). Establishing such a code reflects the interest in and prominence of green
building, as the population becomes more aware of vital environmental and health issues.
Consumer awareness of such issues has risen, and in challenging economic times, people are choosing carefully where to spend their dollars. A
growing percentage of consumers are more likely to buy from businesses they perceive as being eco-friendly. The general population is becoming
more knowledgeable about concepts like "carbon footprint" and consumers are looking to alternative energy sources, hybrid vehicles and responsibly
produced food products. Consumers are buying fewer cheap, disposable products and are re-using and recycling more items.
Whether at home or at the office, state and federal tax refunds for upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and systems are providing incentives for
many to make the switch to a greener lifestyle. Tax benefits available to businesses through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 have been extended
through 2013. A growing number of businesses are working toward LEED certification to make a positive contribution to the health of their employees
and the environment, as well as benefitting from the improved financial health of their business.
The newest significant development in green construction is the launch of the IGCC on March 15, 2010. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
continues to actively promote green building, and most recently joined with the International Code Council (ICC), the American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Illuminating Engineering