Baltimore is about to get a bit greener, as state adopts the IGCC

The International Green Construction Code (IGCC) has found its first home. Maryland has passed a bill that will authorize use of the IGCC as a voluntary compliance alternative in 2012.

 

The new law will go into effect on March 1, 2012. The IGCC bill (House Bill 972) passed through the state’s legislature with rampant success. The Senate approved the bill unanimously and the House passed it with a 121 to 18 vote.

The IGCC will serve as a supplement to the minimum building code applied in each jurisdiction (for the most part, the IBC). State and local building authorities will be authorized to implement the IGCC for all private and public construction.

According to our good friend Stuart Kaplow, a green industries attorney in Baltimore, the IGCC and Maryland were a perfect match. From his recent E-Real Estate Brief newsletter:

It is not surprising the IGCC found Maryland fertile ground. Relative to its population, Maryland has more LEED® projects than any other state.  The first certified LEED Platinum building was in Maryland. Maryland was one of the first states to offer a green building tax credit in 2001. Today, 14 local governments in Maryland have enacted a LEED based green building initiative, including several that have mandatory green building laws imposed on private building. Maryland will now be the first state to enable local governments to implement the IGCC, as a voluntary compliance alternative.

I’m very excited to see whether this serves as a launching pad for more adoption. Last year, Rhode Island approved use of the IGCC, but limited its use to particular projects. After Rhode Island took that action, there was a lull without any new adoptions. Perhaps Maryland’s unlimited adoption will spur interest from other jurisdictions. We will just have to wait and see.