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Re: ICC Green Building Code

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For residential we have Build It Green (BIG), since LEED isn't very practical for small projects. I personally think green roofs are an extraordinarily bad idea for a variety of reasons. Engineered lumber & fly ash seem to be appropriate engineering choices. Since these new mandates offer owners & architects a fairly wide set of options towards compliance, IMO we engineers do have a role in assisting our clients towards appropriate selections. We should probably also be involved in the engineering aspects of the new Codes. CA is ahead of the curve & as a Planning Commissioner I'm having to try to fend off a rush towards premature adoption of some of this stuff. It is also worth noting that the CA Energy Comm. has produced some excellent work (starting in the 70's). We've saved billions in energy costs & created jobs in the process, so there is a successful track record of this kind of an effort if it is rational.
Chuck Utzman,P.E.
p.s. Do you have any idea what the added construction costs are for your green roofs?

Gerard Madden, SE wrote:
Architects use the building code too...who says we engineers need to take the lead on these issues? They ask me for recycled content of steel, how much slag in the concrete mix, and I'm done. I don't need LEED certification for that although it would be nice to have that.

Now, they want to make the building twice as heavy with radiant floors and green roofs, that's there call.

Many jurisdictions in California have adopted LEED mandates. A lot of public projects must at least reach a LEED Silver designation.

The main cost in this appears to be the jump from LEED Gold to LEED Platinum.

Anyway, green issues and design, while often a pain in the structural engineers' ass, doesn't appear to be killing projects...wall street, banks, and politicians seem to be the slayers of great projects.

I just finished a LEED Platinum building with Geothermal borings, green roofs, radiant floors etc.... and working on another with Passive Ventilation. I can tell you that Architects are WAY WAY WAY into this stuff, it's not going away whether it's in the building code or not.

Of course, if you believe the globe isn't warming, the earth was created in 144 60-minute hours and is 5000 years old and humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together like the Flintstones - all of this LEED GREEN stuff is hogwash.


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