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Green Building and Land-Use Codes – GreenTools for King County Sustainable Cities

Green Building and land-use codes

Questions to consider

  • Where can I get help understanding building codes and standards?
  • Are there tools for designing building that go beyond code?
  • What are the benefits of building certification and rating systems?

Note: All links on this page lead to external sites.

Green building codes

International Green Construction Code
The International Green Construction Code (IGCC) is a baseline code that both integrates with existing codes and standards, and compliments established systems and standards that promote new technology and advanced approaches in green construction. The IGCC is written to be consistent with international codes currently being enforced in jurisdictions around the United States and globally. The IGCC covers a wide range of topics, from conservation of materials to land use and environmental quality, and is designed to be adoptable, usable and enforceable. With IGCC Public Version 1.0 external link , governing jurisdictions have a specific “road map” that can be used to ensure compliance with criteria that has been informed by the latest sustainable science, safety, performance, and policy considerations. IGCC is endorsed by the US Conference of Mayors.

Sustainable Design and Green Building Toolkit for Local Governments
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Sustainable Design and Green Building Toolkit for Local Governments Download PDF external link in order to assist local governments in identifying and removing barriers to sustainable design and green building within their permitting process.

Building Codes Assistance Project
(For State and Local Code Agencies)
The Building Codes Assistance Project external link provides custom-tailored assistance on building energy code adoption and implementation. It assists state and local regulatory and legislative bodies and helps coordinate others representing environmental interests, consumers, labor, and industry.

WSU Energy Program
The Washington State University Energy Program Applied Building Science team external link manages programs for code officials, the construction industry, manufactured housing industry, public sector facility staff and homeowners in Washington.

EcoCity Cleveland Code Reform
The Cleveland EcoVillage project external link aims to demonstrate advanced techniques of green building, such as energy efficiency, passive solar design, nontoxic building materials, considerations of life-cycle costs, and alternative forms of wastewater treatment. In addition, the project is helping the city of Cleveland think about how green building techniques can be made part of the city's building code.

Land-Use codes

EPA Land-Use Code Guidance
Land-use codes are means for city governments to guide development in a way that achieves performance goals specific to the built environment. Learn more at the U.S. EPA website: Examples of Codes That Support Smart Growth Development external link .

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