IgCC Adds to Hectic ICC Schedule

Julie Ruth
May 1, 2010
COLUMN : Code Arena | Codes & Standards

I am one of those people who tend to not do well when I have a lot of things coming at me at the same time. I am not good at juggling–whether it be trying to keep balls in the air or making sure I don’t miss something when I have multiple business or personal responsibilities.

This is why I tend to focus my attention primarily on what the International Code Council is doing. From time to time I may pay attention to what is happening within a certain state, or in the development of another document such as one of the ASHRAE standards. But for the most part I try not to take my eyes off of ICC for too long, because I don’t want to miss what might be happening in the center ring. To my mind they are the main show in town, and the others are side attractions.

But this year, ICC has three rings of their own going. It really takes me out of my comfort zone.
First they decided to split the codes into two groups, Group A and Group B, and have separate code development schedules for each. The intent of this was to lessen the amount of time anyone had to spend at any one set of code development hearings. Theoretically, fewer codes would mean less time spent away from the office–right?

Then, ICC decided it wanted to have all the requirements for the 2012 International Codes determined by the fall of 2010, so it could publish them in Spring 2011, and enforcement could begin in 2012–the same year as the edition. So, ICC leaders developed an accelerated code development schedule that basically compresses the amount of work we used to do in three years down into two. Part of this accelerated schedule includes having final action hearings for the Group A codes (including the International Building Code) in May 2010, and the final action hearings for the Group B codes (including the International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservatgion Code) in October 2010.

But existing contracts for hearing space would not permit an equal amount of time to be spent at the hearings in October as what was available for May. So they had to take some of the Group B codes, including IRC–Building, and move them into Group A. So now we have Group A+ (IBC and IRC–Building) hearings in May, and Group B- (IECC and IRC–Energy) hearings in October.

Okay, so I was already getting uncomfortable. But I felt like I had it under control, and I could handle it.
Then ICC decided to develop a new code–the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Officials are targeting 2012 for publication of the first edition. In order to have that first edition developed within the current ICC process and meet the target 2012, a separate schedule that “fits into” the schedule for the Group A+ and Group B- codes was developed for the IgCC.  The net results are shown below:

ICC Timetable

  • February 2010-Deadline for submittal of public comments for Group A codes
  • March 2010-Web posting of final action hearing agenda for Group A codes. Web posting of IgCC Public Version 1
  • May 2010-Deadline for comments on IgCC Public Version 1. Final action hearings for Group A codes in Dallas
  • July 2010-Deadline for submittal of public comments for Group B codes. Web posting of IgCC Public Version 1 comments
  • August 2010-Web posting of final action hearing agenda for Group B codes. Hearings on IgCC Public Version 1 comments in Chicago
  • October 2010- Final action hearings for Group B codes in Charlotte, N.C.
  • November 2010-Web posting of IgCC final draft
  • January 2011-Deadline for IgCC code change proposals
  • April 2011-Publication of Group A and Group B International Codes
  • May 2011-IgCC code development hearings
  • November 2011-IgCC final action hearings
  • January 2012-Deadline for Group A and Group B code change proposals

Group A+ Final Action Hearings
As you can see above, this month we have comments due on the IgCC and final action hearings on the Group A+ proposals and their public comments. AAMA submitted some public comments on several Group A+ proposals, and has been reviewing the public comments submitted by others. During the Group A+ harings, AAMA will: 

  • Participate in the finalization of provisions in the codes for window opening control devices
  • Seek to prevent the current 24 inch minimum window sill height from being increased to 36 inches
  • Hope to be able to present the 2010 edition of AAMA/NSA/NPEA 2100 for possible reference for the structural design of sunrooms in the IRC
  • Support continued reliance on smoke and heat vents in the International Fire Code, and
  • Seek to clarify that tubular daylighting devices are unit skylights, and therefore should be subject to the testing and labeling requirements of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440.

We also anticipate another lively discussion on the L/175 deflection limit exception for products that are labeled as complying with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440.

IgCC Working Group
AAMA has also formed a working group to review the IgCC Public Version 1 document ( which can be downloaded from the ICC Web site) and develop comments on it. Some of the topics AAMA anticipates addressing include a prescriptive table for fenestration (Table 606.1.1) that does not include the separate product group categories similar to tables in the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1. Clarification is needed for the sections on life cycle assessment and material selection.  There appears to be redundancy of provisions for both life cycle assessment and building service life plan.  Reference needs to be made to the applicable section of the IBC and IRC for flashing of windows, doors and skylights.  There are also confusing provisions with regards to the relationship between IgCC and ASHRAE 189, and the application of the IgCC to residential occupancies.  

Code Arena is brought to you by the America Architectural Manufacturers Association. Julie Ruth may be reached through AAMA at 847/303-5664 or via e-mail at julruth@aol.com.