News Brief

Maryland May Accept IgCC for Public Buildings Along with LEED

Objections to FSC were a factor in the state’s endorsement of multiple frameworks—starting with recommending IgCC as a compliance option for its own buildings.

While the Greenbelt school was LEED Gold certified in 2012, future public buildings constructed in Maryland may be able to comply with state laws by following the International Green Construction Code.

Photo: Greenbelt Middle School. License: Anthony Bailey CC BY 3.0.

Maryland may soon authorize an alternative path to its LEED Silver requirement for state-owned buildings.

As Stuart Kaplow reported in the Green Building Law Update, the Maryland Green Building Council (a State agency that is not associated with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Maryland chapter), is close to finalizing its version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which it will recommend as an alternate compliance path for green construction in State-owned buildings, including schools. In its annual report, the council says the code ensures comparable building performance at “a potential reduction in cost” and will serve as a model that jurisdictions can choose to adopt or adapt, giving them “the ability to craft a more prescriptive Maryland-focused code.”

Tom Liebel, chair of the Maryland Green Building Council, told EBN, “The state of Maryland was an early adopter of the LEED rating system, and we continue to be fully supportive of LEED.” Giving multiple options, though, “lets jurisdictions know that the State has done a rigorous review” that leaves choices open to local governments without compromising sustainable design standards. Some localities have expressed concern regarding LEED’s certified wood credit, for example, according to Liebel. IgCC not only gives them another option but, as a code, can also be tailored to local principles.

IgCC was enabled for use by the Maryland Legislature in 2011, but no local governments have enacted it to date. However, as LEED v4 is released, Liebel predicts more jurisdictions will begin to explore their options.

 

Published December 2, 2013

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