The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)
embraced a green policy agenda when the group met mid-June in New Orleans—including the adoption of resolutions that benefit our built environment:
• Financing mechanisms to pay for energy retrofits of existing buildings
• Greening of school districts
• Sustainable development in cities
• Green affordable housing and financing
USCM endorsed the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), which though a commercial code references the ICC 700 for residential occupancies (excluding high-rises).
Jurisdictions can customize the requirements of the ICC to suit local and geographical conditions and environmental priorities, but it is hoped that many will simply adopt the residential standards as part of their sustainable policies.
According to USGBC
, buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
While these statistics are promising and adoption of the IGCC is a strong beginning for sustainable cities, mayors have a challenging road ahead as they navigate tricky and uncertain economic times.
You can download and read the IGCC synopsis