While states and municipalities seek to adopt ordinances that require “green” or “sustainable” construction, code officials are scrambling for appropriate practices and language to include.

To help local governments implement green building codes, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) has developed “High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability,” a sample ordinance written in mandatory language that amends and appends the International Code Council’s International Building Code (IBC) to address high performance and sustainable buildings.

It is available as a free PDF download.

The PCA requirements include the concepts in most other sustainability or green standards that fall under the building code department while enhancing disaster resistance and setting more stringent durability requirements.

The PCA ordinance requires increased resistance to natural disasters in order to reduce the number of buildings destroyed, the amount of property damaged, and the number of lives lost.

PCA has aligned the provisions with the concepts of both the Whole Building Design Guide (www.wbdg.org) and High Performance Building Council. Enacting and enforcing these provisions provides the basis for designers and owners to be certified in the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (LEED-NC) rating.

The ordinance is organized by chapter and section consistent with the IBC format, and is intentionally limited to issues typically within the purview of the building code and zoning and land use officials. There are no requirements for sole source certification or fees that increase the initial project design cost.

To download a free copy of “High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability,” visit www.cement.org/codes.