Measures to Reduce Waste Debated at Code Hearings

Measures to reduce waste were debated at the recent International Code Council hearings of the International green Construction Code (IgCC) taking place this week in Memphis. USGNN.com™ takes a look at two of those proposals, one which will make it in to the next edition of the IgCC and the other which was disapproved.

GG206-14, section 505.2.3, recyclable building materials and building components, proposed by Jason Thompson, who represents the National Concrete Masonry Association, was approved unanimously. The proposal states thatbuilding materials and building components that can be recycled into the same material or another material with a minimum recovery rate of not less than 30 percent through recycling and reprocessing or reuse, or building materials shall be recyclable through an established, nationally available closed loop manufacturer’s take-back

Some who spoke in opposition were against the reference to a “national” program saying these programs should be more regional in nature.

The proposal also stated thatmany materials are sourced, manufactured and used locally without any form of a national distribution network. Requiring a nationally available take-back program for these materials is impractical and counterproductive to the sustainable objectives of the IgCC.

A proposed revision to GG184-14, section 202, 503.1, would have stipulated that not less than 50 percent of nonhazardous construction waste shall be diverted from disposal …. Where structural materials are manufactured to a specified size, a credit equivalent to 5 percent of the total material manufactured to size shall apply toward the total amount of waste diverted. Proponent of the proposal was Mark Nowak, representing the Steel Framing Alliance. Tom Culp, representing the Aluminum Extruders Council, spoke in support of the proposal that was ultimately disapproved by a unanimous vote.

The intent of the proposal was that: “Materials used to frame a building constitute over 20 percent of construction waste for non-residential and average over 4 percent for residential buildings, according to data compiled in a study by Franklin Associates for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is a significant amount of material that goes into landfills. By recognizing framing materials that are manufactured to eliminate waste onsite and during manufacturing, the IgCC will facilitate reduction of waste ending up in landfills.”

“This is an option not a requirement and it will encourage people to produce materials with less waste,” said Culp. “There is no harm here. In my case it would apply to a curtainwall. Isn’t it better if you bring that in unitized from the start?”

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