It took some time, but isn’t that the case with all things code-related? After nearly two years of hashing out the details, the International Code Council (ICC) recently signed a final agreement with ASHRAE, outlining each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

The code, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASHRAE, ICC, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is scheduled for release in 2018. It will be powered by ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

The IgCC will be developed using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved ASHRAE consensus process. According to a release from ASHRAE, the joint Standing Standards Project Committee 189.1 (SSPC) will serve as the consensus body that will work to ensure the standard is coordinated with the ICC family of codes.

Per the agreement, the ICC will be responsible for the scope and administration of Chapter 1.

“For the 2018 IgCC, ICC will coordinate the technical provisions developed by ASHRAE with the provisions in Chapter 1 of the 2015 IgCC. As a result, the 2016 Group B Cycle will not include Chapter 1 of the IgCC for code changes,” the release from ASHRAE reads. “With ASHRAE developing technical provisions, ICC’s 2017 Group C cycle to develop the 2018 IgCC has been cancelled. Part of the development process for the 2018 technical provisions will include the SSPC review of the 2015 IgCC and consideration of content for inclusion in 189.1-2017 along with changes generated by the committee and proposals submitted by stakeholders. Following the completion of the 2018 IgCC, Chapter 1 of the IgCC will be developed by ICC using its consensus code development process.”

ICC board president Guy Tomberlin, CBO, say the partnership’s goal is “to share resources to increase use of the IgCC and make it simpler for code officials, designers and contractors to build environmentally efficient structures that will lessen energy and water consumption and reduce the carbon footprint.”

Representatives of ICC, ASHRAE, USGBC, AIA and IES, and the SSPC chair will make up an executive steering committee for the effort to align 189.1, the IgCC and LEED.

“The full integration of Standard 189.1 to serve as the technical content of the IgCC will leverage ASHRAE’s technical expertise and increase the standard’s influence on sustainable buildings,” says ASHRAE president David Underwood.

The new publication also will align the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system program to ensure a streamlined set of regulatory and “above-code” options. “This joint initiative will forge the fundamental regulatory building blocks of green construction on which future green building leadership initiatives can grow,” says Brendan Owens, chief of engineering at USGBC.