Green Building Codes and Concrete? A Great Combination! | Construction Law Musings

Link: Green Building Codes and Concrete? A Great Combination! | Construction Law Musings

    Many state and local  jurisdictions are developing or considering the development of green or  sustainable codes for the design and construction of buildings.  <a href="http://cement.org" target="_blank">PCA</a> has  observed that there are currently no national reference standards or model codes  available at this time, but these efforts are progressing.  Most code  development that PCA has reviewed tend to be based on or using language from   the US Green Building Council (<a class="zem_slink freebase/en/united_states_green_building_council" title="United States Green Building Council" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Green_Building_Council" target="_blank">USGBC</a>) certification program <em>Leadership in  Energy and Environmental Design</em> (LEED) or language from drafts of the  American Society for Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers  (<a class="zem_slink freebase/guid/9202a8c04000641f800000000017748a" title="American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers" rel="wikipedia" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Society_of_Heating%2C_Refrigerating_and_Air-Conditioning_Engineers" target="_blank">ASHRAE</a>) standard 189.1 <em>Standard for the Design of High Performance Green  Buildings Except Low-rise Residential Buildings</em>.

The LEED program is not written in mandatory language and tends to be broader in scope than what is typically within the purview of building code departments. The ASHRAE standard is still a draft. PCA has reviewed several of the state and local efforts and compiled these proposed changes into one set of amendments for consideration of adoption for the design and construction of high performance buildings. In addition to the typical ?green? or ?sustainable? provisions, PCA included provisions for increased durability and disaster resistance.

Adding green or sustainability features to buildings designed and built to the minimum life safety codes just does seem to make sense. Sustainable buildings should be more durable and more resistant to natural disasters, including but not limited to hurricanes, tornadoes, other high wind events, hail storms, floods, structure fires and wildland fires. This is especially true with the extreme weather conditions that are occurring. Over recent years the intensity, extremes and frequency of severe weather has increased. Wildland fires are become more intense. Last year Georgia was in a drought and concerns about wildland fires were paramount.

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