Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Since this is one of the points in my treatise against the IGCC, I was amazed by how appropriate the “white paper” is, and how it reinforces (through inference) what I’ve said about the IGCC’s impact on an Architect's standard-of-care…if you don’t want to read the entire report, just click on this link to go to the specific sub-heading mentioned above: http://www.theaiatrust.com/whitepapers/sustainable/beyond.htm
Once you’ve read the section, I hope you’ll conclude as I have, that the IGCC is totally unnecessary. Surprisingly enough, through their “white paper”, the AIA Trust is actually reinforcing my opinion and advancing it toward “fact”.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
- Communicate with other professionals. Call, email, text, write, Skype, tweet, send carrier pigeons – whatever – to other architects that you know, or don’t know, about the series that I’ve published on the AIA Knowledge Net. If they find anything incorrect in what’s stated, let them comment and initiate discussions; but, spread the word – to every architect. This is serious stuff. Your (and their) practice (whether you work for yourself or another firm) will be affected – whether you work in commercial or residential architecture (as I’ve stated, the International Green Residential Construction Code is “on target”). Regardless of your preference for “green” and “sustainability” – regardless of your preference toward climate change – regardless of your political-party affiliation – the viability of your architectural practice WILL be affected by the IGCC – and you need to inject yourself, and other architects, into the discussion.
- Comment on the IGCC to the International Code Council (ICC). There’s another public comment period from May 27th to August 12th. It’s a great opportunity for architects (and other interested individuals) to impact the final IGCC. Go to the ICC website at the following URL: http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/PublicVersionDevelopment.aspx Review the IGCC; then, download and submit a public comment form (available May 27th). The more that architects comment on onerous (toxic) inclusions, the better chance that many of the code-provisions will be removed or re-written. You can also attend the hearings in Dallas (see the schedule in FYI-2) and participate in the code-hearings. Membership in the ICC is not required. Just visit the ICC website for information.
- Demand better representation from the AIA. (See below in “FYI-1” a summary of the representation of the AIA to-date, specifically relating to the IGCC) More pressure should be exerted on our representative body – the AIA – to eliminate all the “toxic baggage” from the adopted IGCC. To that end, I suggest that practicing architects write letters to the national, (your) state, and (your) local AIA chapters – targeting the officers; as well as writing emails to Mark Wills (manager of code advocacy for the AIA – email@example.com ). Request answers to the following questions (without emotion or embellishment):
a. How many architect-practitioners (whose sole income is derived from architectural practice) participated directly in the writing of and/or the reviewing of the IGCC? – From how many parts of the country did they come? – How were they selected? b. Why did the AIA not poll its members to determine if supporting the IGCC (in its draft form) was supported by the membership (not initially, but after the drafts emerged)? c. Why has the AIA not written and distributed its own complete section-by-section review of the provisions within the IGCC? – Why has the AIA not requested written comments from its members for their thoughts about specific provisions within the IGCC? Why has the AIA not disclosed (to all members) the full impact of the IGCC on practicing architects? d. How does the AIA intend to assist practicing architects in implementing the requirements within the IGCC? – if through re-writing owner/architect agreements, then why should any code be so convoluted as to require changed contracts in order to implement its provisions? e. How can the AIA rationalize supporting the onerous requirements within the IGCC that impact the financial health of every practitioner? f. And, every officer and decision-maker in the national, (your) state, and (your) local AIA should be told loud and clear that: i. The AIA should not be in the business of making financial losers out of its members, ii. The AIA should remove its public support of the IGCC until the detrimental aspects (to the practice of architecture) are removed from the requirements of the IGCC, and iii. The AIA should actively lobby against adoption of the IGCC (by municipal, county, and state authorities) until the code is fully “revenue-neutral” for architects, and fully non-toxic toward architectural practices and practitioners.
In summary, the ICC intends to publish the International Green Construction Code in March 2012. A year from now, the “green-code-train will reach the station” – nothing can stop it – but, the “baggage” that’s delivered can be much-less or even totally non-toxic to practicing architects – but only if practitioners make the effort to communicate, comment, and demand. Because, where the wheels meet the rails, that is what architects do best.
Next: 7 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary – if all else fails, offer another service.
FYI-1: The Codes-and-Standards Knowledge Net Community has a webpage at: http://www.aia.org/advocacy/AIAB085336 While visiting the page, open the link to the 2011 Grassroots Legislative and Leadership Conference – also, click on the “presentation” link. The presentation is a compilation of 102 PowerPoint presentation “slides” from an AIA “Grassroots” gathering titled “The IGCC & Its Impact On The Practice Of Architecture (February 2, 2011 and February 5, 2011) – the slides represent a “cheerleader’s” look at the pros (91 pages), and the cons (“Effects on the Profession” - 11 pages of concerns) of the IGCC. Nowhere is there a listing of specific concerns related to specific sections / inclusions in the IGCC. The bottom line to the “Grassroots” presentation is: Adoption of the IGCC will enable architects to avoid the “ADA syndrome” relative to “sustainability”. Additionally, you can link to “talking points” – a publication that discussed how to “sell” the IGCC to decision (law) makers – and, you can link to an “Issue Brief – helpful document” - a publication that offers (among other things) five issues that the AIA has been able to dissuade the ICC from including in the IGCC relating to: Building Shape, Commissioning, Design Reports, Greenfields, and Energy Efficiency / Social Engineering.
FYI-2: Here’s a chart of the implementation schedule for the IGCC (beyond March, 2011) – according to the schedule adopted by the ICC: 2011 IGCC Code Development Hearing May 16-22, 2011 Sheraton Dallas Hotel Dallas, TX 2011
IGCC Code Development Hearing Results To be posted May 27, 2011
Report of Public Hearing Posted To be posted June 27, 2011
Public comment form To be posted May 27, 2011
Deadline for receipt of Public Comments August 12, 2011
Public Comments Final Action Agenda Posted To be posted September 16, 2011
2011 IGCC Final Action Hearing Schedule TBD
2011 IGCC Final Action Hearing November 2-6, 2011 Phoenix Convention Center Phoenix, AZ
2011 Final Action Hearing Results To be posted November 11, 2011
2011 Summary of Final Action on all Code Changes To be posted November 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
To continue my commentary on the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), I lambast the lack of neutrality inherent within the IGCC. Generally, codes are “neutral” – no-one makes or loses money based upon a code’s implementation. Not so with the IGCC. Adoption of the IGCC will facilitate a group of financial winners and one specific financial loser – after I list both, I’ll concentrate on my primary concern – architects. Here’s the list of winners and the loser (FYI: PCHC stands for Public Comment Hearing Committee):
· ICC (International Code Council) - big winner – another code to update every three years – a continuing stream of “business”, plus, sales of reference and interpretive guides will increase due to the complexity of compliance – represented on the PCHC by the following members:
ICC / Code Enforcement and Development:
ICC Project Staff
Tom Frost, AIA — Senior Vice President
Mike Pfeiffer, PE — Deputy Senior Vice President
Rebecca Baker, CBO
Director of Building Safety - Jefferson County - Golden, CO
· Commissioning Agents (Mechanical Engineers) - big winners – the IGCC has numerous requirements for pre and post commissioning – now it’s in the code – and Cx fees will be allowed to increase because the work-scope isn’t voluntary – it’s mandatory – represented on the PCHC by the following AIA member.
A. Vernon Woodworth, AIA
Associate Principal, R.W. Sullivan, Inc. - Boston, MA
· ASHRAE (see above - support for continuing updates to standards) - represented on the PCHC by a consulting engineer.
Carol Marriott, P. Eng.
Representing ASHRAE – Owner, Carol Marriott Consulting, LLC - Maple Grove, MN
· USGBC - LEED gets codified – ensuring a steady stream of supportive work; however, with LEED codified, the golden goose could be threatened – why would someone want to pay more for 3rd-party certification if the building is required to be “green”; however, I’m certain that the USGBC will sell classes on “code-compliance” in addition to becoming an “accredited professional” – represented on the PCHC by a code advocate / consultant.
Representing USGBC - Senior Code Development - City of Seattle DCLU
· Architecture schools - what better way to increase your teaching load than to increase the requirements for graduating students – plus, what about those grants and research dollars needed to determine the life-cycle benefits of systems, materials, and practices – represented on the PCHC by an AIA member.
Dennis A. Andrejko, FAIA
Representing AIA - Associate Professor of Architecture - Universityat Buffalo, Department of Architecture
· ASTM - think of all those products that require testing – to verify the “greenness” toward compliance – plus, life-cycle analysis of building materials, etc. will be very lucrative – represented on the PCHC by an AIA member, who is a principal in a MEP engineering firm.
Dru Meadows, AIA, CCS, FCSI
Representing ASTM International - Mathis Consulting Company - Asheville, NC
· Environmental Consultants - how will most owners navigate the requirements without a specialized environmental consultant? – represented on the PCHC by an environmental consultant, and an M-arch holder working with a MEP engineering firm.
R. Christopher Mathis, SMArchS
President, Mathis Consulting Company - Asheville, NC http://mathisconsulting.squarespace.com/team/
Representing EPA WaterSense Program - Environmental Eng. - Eastern Research Group, Inc.Chantilly, VA
· Stakeholders - no liability or effort – just opportunities galore – represented by three members of the PCHC.
Richard C. Morgan, PMP
Austin Energy/City of Austin, TX - Austin Energy Green Building Manager
Maureen Guttman, AIA
Representing AIA - Executive Director, Governor's Green Gov. Council -Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection
Robert (Robin) White, LEED AP
Product Manager, Marketing Retail Sales and Development - Alabama Power Company - Birmingham, AL
· Lawyers - big winners - so many more ways to sue design professionals – now, for non-compliance with the building code – no representation on the PCHC; however, considering their “win”, you’d think they ran the committee.
· Insurers (E & O) - not at first, but they’ll discover how to increase deductibles and write policy exclusions for many of the IGCC inclusions – as with “mold-liability”, they’ll discover how to eliminate and/or reduce coverage – no representation on the PCHC, but they’re aware of the issues and are formulating policies accordingly (according to my “friendly” insurance insider).
Winner / Loser (borderline):
· Municipalities - maintaining records of required submissions for performance, etc. – enforcement requirements – personnel training – expense of more qualified personnel to administer; however, I can already see the “checklists” being generated that throw the responsibility and requirements on the “design professional” – after all, the city has no real liability – by law – so they need someone to accept the responsibility (blame) – represented by three members of the PCHC.
Los Angeles Fire Department
Anthony C. Floyd, AIA, LEED AP
Green Building Program Manager - City of Scottsdale, AZ
Rebecca Baker, CBO
Director of Building Safety - Jefferson County - Golden, CO
· Practicing Architects – big loser - more effort, more liability, more reporting, and more responsibility – all for the same fee – supposedly represented by two to four members of the PCHC; however, none of the representatives truly acted in the interests of AIA members (see my discussion below).
The Public Comment Hearing Committee (PCHC) includes four members of the AIA – but whom are they really representing?
A. Vernon Woodworth, AIA
“Representing AIA “- Associate Principal, R.W. Sullivan, Inc. - Boston, MA
http://www.rwsullivan.com/R. W. Sullivan is a large MEP / Fire Protection Engineering firm. Commissioning Agents (aka mechanical engineers) are large “winners” in the IGCC, so I can’t imagine that an “associate principal” in a MEP firm could represent architects.
Dennis A. Andrejko, FAIA
“Representing AIA” - Associate Professor of Architecture - University at Buffalo, Department of Architecture
Teacher first – practitioner second…Architecture schools are also “winners” in the IGCC, so I can’t imagine that an associate professor of architecture could fully represent architects that depend on their practices as the sole means of support.
Dru Meadows, AIA, CCS, FCSI
“Representing ASTM International” - Mathis Consulting Company - Asheville, NC
This one’s easy. This AIA member represents ASTM International. ASTM is also a “winner” in the IGCC, so forget AIA representation through Mathis Consulting.
Maureen Guttman, AIA
“Representing AIA” - Executive Director, Governor's Green Government Council - Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection
http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=23222535&authType=name&authToken=mv1l&pvs=pp Bureaucrat first – AIA second – governmental agents have no liability whatsoever. There’s no way that a bureaucrat will look out for the interests of practicing architects. Their responsibility is to look out for their employer – in this case, the state.
So, even though (at least) four AIA members serve on the IGCC Public Comment Hearing Committee, none REALLY represent the interests of AIA members – all represent other interests…so, it’s no wonder that practicing architects are getting the “short-straw”.
What possessed the AIA – allowing it to totally ignore the practicing professionals, who comprise the core of its membership?
I can certainly understand why the ICC doesn’t want practicing architects making policy (If questions like mine were asked during the IGCC-formulation process, the code might not have been where it is now); but the AIA?
So here’s the real issue: is the AIA so concerned about its sustainability “mission statement” that it’s afraid of what its constituency might say – that practice matters might overrule “progressive” matters? And, how can the AIA rationalize supporting the onerous requirements within the IGCC that impact the financial health of every practitioner? Those are questions that every practicing architect should ask their national, state, and local AIA directors, and that’s the basis of my next article:
6 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary - A practical guide to fighting back against the IGCC.
BTW: LEED is a trademark of the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
a) Getting a building permit in the City of Houston (my hometown jurisdiction – C of H) is a pain. That’s because the C of H utilizes a “thorough-plan-review” system, which gives broad powers to the plans examiners, and less power to the field-inspectors. Unfortunately, the pain increased when the city underfunded its pension obligations, and many experienced plan-examiners / inspectors “retired” to take advantage of generous benefits. Now that the C of H has a true “budget crisis” (endemic to most municipalities), I expect the pain to increase further. The C of H recently announced that “pink slips” will be distributed through all departments – including the permit-review department. So not only will the C of H be understaffed, but the experience-level of the plans-examiners was already, and now is further, weakened. Don’t believe me? Click on this link to see the wide-spread financial problems impacting cities – click on the second link to see the impact on states:
Enter the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). A review of the code provisions shows that the plans-examiner must be educated and capable in reviewing the following required permit (submitted) documents:
· Inventory and assessment of “natural resources and baseline conditions” of the building site (402.3.1),
· Design to elimination of potable water abuse - for irrigation systems (402.3.*),
· Design of “reclaimed or collected rainwater” systems - for ornamental fountains and water features (402.3.4),
· A Soil and water quality protection plan (402.3.5.1)(406.6),
· Calculations for compliance with the limitations on “turfgrass” planting on the project site (402.3.5.7),
· A building site waste management plan – including methodology toward recycling or salvaging 75+% of site soils, “rocks, trees, stumps, and associated vegetation” (402.3.6),
· Calculations for compliance with the requirement for showering and changing facilities (if long-term bicycle parking is required in 403.3) (403.2) – documentation of the facility-design is required if compliance is mandated,
· Calculations for compliance with the requirement for long term and short term bicycle parking (chart of compliance requirements included in IGCC (403.3) – documentation showing bicycle locations and signage is required if compliance is mandated,
· Calculations for compliance with the requirement for preferred “high-occupancy vehicle parking” (403.4.1) – documentation showing parking locations and signage is required if compliance is mandated,
· Calculations for compliance with the requirement for preferred “low-emission, hybrid, and electric vehicle parking” (403.4.2) – documentation showing parking locations and signage is required if compliance is mandated,
· Submission of 10-year canopy growth of all planted trees, and canopy-contribution of existing trees – including shading calculations (404.2.3),
· Calculations for reduction or elimination of light pollution (405.1),
· Written periodic maintenance protocol for all landscaping and stormwater management systems (406.6(3)),
· Basis-of-design utilized in determining compliance with the building material design-life (minimum mandated percentage) (503.2),
· A building-service-life-plan (505),
· The schedule-of-inspections (by an approved agency) for review of moisture control preventative measures – outside envelope,
· Details for compliance with the Zero-energy performance index (602.1),
· Usability of the building energy (model) simulation (603.5),
· Documentation reflecting the methods for ensuring energy metering-monitoring-reporting (604),
· Documentation ensuring offsite control of HVAC and lighting through Auto-DR interface (605.1,605.3,605.4),
· Design for rough-ins for “future” solar-hot-water systems (608.4),
· Design for plug load controls (609.6),
· Verification of inclusion (on the design team) of a commissioning agent (610.3.1),
· Design and delineation of on-site renewable power provisions – physical devices (611),
· Notations requiring post-occupancy re-commissioning-repeated 18-24 months after issuance of the C of O (612.3.5),
· Documentation requiring building envelope commissioning prior to issuance of the C of O (612.4),
· An indoor air quality management plan (in-place during construction) (801.2),
· Documentation stipulating the requirement for indoor air quality testing (after construction) – flush-out or IAQ-testing (804.3),
· Location and specification for required entry mats (804.4),
· Documentation reflecting the emission limits for “glued wood products” – interior and exterior (part of the “weather covering”) (806.1),
· STC ratings for exterior wall and roof assemblies (807.1-.5),
· Specifications for acoustics verification and testing (post construction) demonstrating compliance with the acoustic sections (807.5),
· “Daylit area” calculations to verify compliance with the required percentage of interior day-lighting (808.3),
· Commissioning Specifications and timetable for commissioning (903),
· Specifications stipulating O & M documentation, maintenance, and education (904.1-904.4),
· Specifications indicating the intervals and format for submission to the “local jurisdiction” of energy reporting / audits (904.1.1)(1003.3.1),
Frankly, there’s no way that the plans-examiner (primarily due to skills, pay, and energy levels) will review all (if any) of these code-mandated requirements; so guess what, the list of requirements will turn into a checklist – a checklist that (you guessed it) the architect (and other consultants) will be required to complete and verify through the construction documents. And this leads me to “b” – the second aspect of this article.
b) Envision the amount of additional work that the A/E will be required to perform in order to submit and obtain a building permit, since all of the submission-requirements listed above must be included in the “construction documents”. The IGCC is very specific:
“Documentation for compliance verification is based upon:
“Construction documents [that] shall be dimensioned and drawn upon suitable material. …Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that such work will conform to the provisions of this code and relevant laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, as determined by the code official. The construction documents shall contain a listing of the applicable project electives in accordance with Section 303, and shall include the applicable commissioning requirements in accordance with Section 903. Where special conditions exist, the code official is authorized to require additional construction documents.
“Project Electives (if required by the jurisdiction) shall be selected by the owner. “Such project electives shall be applied as mandatory requirements to the project and shall be indicated to the code official by means of completion of Table 303.1. The submitted construction documents shall include a completed copy of Table 303.1 indicating which project electives that the owner has selected as a means to comply with Section 303.1. The total number of project electives selected shall be in accordance with the minimum number of project electives indicated by the jurisdiction in Table 302.1. The Project electives selected shall be applied and enforced as mandatory requirements.”
What joy – more effort and more liability – because, what now is an additional, elective service (LEED), would become (if the IGCC is adopted) multiple code-mandated requirements.
There’s no doubt that the IGCC requires extensive municipal code-effort to comply with its provisions – mostly falling on the shoulders of the A/E professional. For this reason, I contend that the IGCC is totally unnecessary.
Next time: 5 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary – It financially rewards those who promote its “necessity”…
BTW: LEED is a trademark of the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
Monday, February 21, 2011
· The IGCC is totally unnecessary…there, I said it!
· 1 – The IGCC is totally unnecessary – It’s a stretch to the meaning of “construction / building codes”, and
· 2 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary - It costs architects in fees…
…As everyone knows, we live in a very litigious society; and, without question, the threat and reality of litigation impacts what we draw, say, and even imply as professionals. Much of the basis for litigation comes from what we “should do” or what we “should have done” – while compared to “what another prudent architect would do, in similar situations, in the exercise of his (or her) professional services”. As an attorney who’s familiar with A/E litigation told me recently,
“The [Standard of Care] isn't static. It's whatever you agree to in a contract (customary, highest, best [practices]...), or in the case of a 3rd-party claim for personal injury, what other similar A/E's customarily [perform]... The evidence to a jury of what the standard means and whether it was met has to be presented by experts. You should anticipate that anyone suing an A/E will find an expert to say not following codes is a breach of the standard of care.”
This is the danger within the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). By codifying “sustainability”, our standard of care expands beyond the scope of “building” and into the realm of the “surrounding” environment – beyond the scope of “occupancy” and into the realm of “life-cycle performance”. As a recent AIArchitect article (Volume 18, 2-18-2011) stated (in defense of the IGCC process): (emphasis is added by me)
“Will the adoption of the IGCC expand the architect's legal responsibilities and therefore their exposure to liability? There is no question that it will, but this expansion is both inevitable and necessary.
“This code stretches the boundaries of a traditional building code in several ways.
• With a chapter devoted to natural resource conservation, land use, and development, the IGCC expands the jurisdiction of the code beyond the boundaries of the building envelope and even beyond the boundaries of the site.
• A chapter on material resource efficiency includes requirements for waste management, recycled content, and life cycle assessment.
• The chapter on energy efficiency and atmospheric quality includes a section on commissioning, documentation, and planning for operations and maintenance. As such, the IGCC continues to prescribe requirements beyond the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, the traditional termination of a building code's involvement.
“Despite much concern, there have been only a limited number of lawsuits filed against architects for their role in the certification of a building in accordance with the USGBC's LEED program. The newly-developed IGCC raises similar concerns. However, the AIA has both sponsored this code and been substantially represented on its drafting committees. Through continued involvement in the evolution of the IGCC, the delegation of responsibilities can be clarified and the terms and conditions of its enforcement refined. Backing away from the expanded scope of the IGCC and its implications for the profession is not an option.”
This is scary stuff. I’m supposed to believe that it’s “inevitable and necessary” that my standard of care will expand from serving the needs of my client to serving the needs of the neighborhood – from preventing roof leaks to preserving ice caps – from flashing windows to facilitating wildlife habitats?
That is totally untrue! Expanding the standard of care into “saving the planet” is NOT inevitable as long as I have a choice; however, when sustainability is codified (through the IGCC), my choice will become a legal mandate. The legal mandate (code requirements) will enable standard-of-care expansion and the probability of litigation – far beyond the “limited number of lawsuits” that have previously been filed against architects.
And I’m supposed to feel protected because the AIA will generate revised contract documents so that “the delegation of responsibilities can be clarified and the terms and conditions of its [the IGCC] enforcement refined”? Can you imagine the contract language required to indemnify our actions regarding compliance with the building code – specifically design impact “beyond the boundaries of the site”, and buildings that don’t perform to the “life-cycle-assessment”? - And what about the statute-of-repose – if the code mandates that our standard of care covers “requirements beyond the issuance of a certificate of occupancy”? The number of lawsuits will grow exponentially, as architects (and engineers) struggle to comply with code-required performance standards that can be as ambiguous (or nebulous) as “sustainability” and/or “climate change”.
Frankly, if the IGCC is adopted (by local jurisdictions), there will be no indemnification for simple “code compliance” – and that will doom our profession to thick, verbose contracts; and attorneys on-call – (and just wait until the insurance industry wises-up and excludes “sustainability compliance” from what’s included as “covered” – but that’s another story).
In summary, because of its impact on our standard of care, the IGCC is totally unnecessary! Keep sustainability as an optional service – covered under separate contractual provisions – keep it out of the building code, away from our (basic) standard of care, and remove sustainable “inevitability and necessity” from our already overbearing practice complexities.
Next time: 4 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary – It requires extensive municipal code-effort to comply with …
BTW: The article excerpted above was written by A. Vernon Woodworth, AIA, LEED AP… LEED is a trademark of the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
Monday, February 14, 2011
As a follow-up to my previous two blogs “The IGCC is totally unnecessary…” I’ve continued with elaboration on my second point (stated in the blog title)… if you’ve never read the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), I hope the following information will be an eye-opener – helping you to see how the IGCC will cost architects money (in fees)…
I’ve attempted to list the submission requirements and the “professional” who’s responsible for organizing and documenting the specific code-requirement…as you review the listings, you may think I’ve ignored the “LEED consultant”, and you’d be correct in your assumption – there’s no need for a LEED consultant, unless you want to get a third-party certification…but why would an owner want that, if his building is generally codified into the LEED system…
And, therein, is the problem…my contention is simple: LEED consulting is an “adder” to the fee structure - it’s an accepted practice, since LEED consultation is not a mandatory requirement (except in certain governmental contracts – where additional compensation is still acceptable); however, complying with the “building code” is NOT an acceptable reason for increasing fees - all owners expect Architects to deliver a building design than complies with the building code, and once sustainability is codified, the desire for additional compensation will meet stiffer resistance from owners who are already feeling the pinch from a variety of sources – funding, construction, overhead, etc…
Additionally, most Architects will not know what hit them (if the IGCC is generally adopted), so their fee structure will generally adhere to a pre-IGCC scenario…not only will that “oversight” destroy the bottom line (that’s always thin on projects), that approach to “living in the past” will enable apples-to-apples fee comparisons very difficult for owners…this will enable owners to “beat-down” the fees of capable design professionals who want more fee for what “another Architect is willing to do for less”…even fixed-percentage contracts from some governmental authorities will continue to require delivery of “code-compliant” projects for the same amounts previously offered. Since the physical cost (construction) for compliance to the IGCC is minimal, the percentages tied to construction cost will not increase to cover additional documentation required in the IGCC (one of my clients actually increases the fee for LEED consultation, but not for “code compliance”)…
So here goes…take a look at the documentation requirements…see if I’ve missed or misunderstood anything; but, expect that if the IGCC is adopted (with minimal changes), the work will increase, but the fees will not…also note that I deal with total fees, as well as architect-only fees...if the total fee remains fairly constant, but the consultants fees increase, the pain is even greater…
Just to clear up any misunderstanding, with the exception of “detached one-and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress; and, equipment or systems that are used primarily for industrial or manufacturing processes”:
“The provisions of this code shall apply to the design, construction, addition, alteration,
change of occupancy, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every building or structure or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings or structures and to the site on which the building is located. Occupancy classifications shall be determined in accordance with the International Building Code…” (101.2)
Basically, all office buildings, schools, churches, apartments, retail stores, and other “commercial buildings” are required to comply with the IGCC.
Documentation for compliance verification is based upon:
“Construction documents [that] shall be dimensioned and drawn upon suitable material. Electronic media documents are permitted to be submitted where approved by the code official. Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show in detail that such work will conform to the provisions of this code and relevant laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, as determined by the code official. The construction documents shall contain a listing of the applicable project electives in accordance with Section 303, and shall include the applicable commissioning requirements in accordance with Section 903. Where special conditions exist, the code official is authorized to require additional construction documents.
Project Electives (if required by the jurisdiction) shall be selected by the owner. “Such project electives shall be applied as mandatory requirements to the project and shall be indicated to the code official by means of completion of Table 303.1. The submitted construction documents shall include a completed copy of Table 303.1 indicating which project electives that the owner has selected as a means to comply with Section 303.1. The total number of project electives selected shall be in accordance with the minimum number of project electives indicated by the jurisdiction in Table 302.1. The Project electives selected shall be applied and enforced as mandatory requirements.”
The IGCC submission requirements (per section), with responsible professional(s) are as follows:
· Inventory and assessment of “natural resources and baseline conditions” of the building site (402.3.1), included in the (construction) documents for permit application, - Landscape Architect and Architect
· Use and abuse of potable water (402.3.*) for irrigation systems, included in the (construction) documents for permit application, - Landscape Architect and MEP Engineer
· Required use of “reclaimed or collected rainwater” for ornamental fountains and water features (402.3.4), compliance verification included in the (construction) documents for permit application, - Landscape Architect and MEP Engineer
· Submission of a Soil and water quality protection plan (402.3.5.1)(406.6), included in the (construction) documents for permit application, additional documentation “demonstrating compliance shall be provided as part of the submittal documents and during the construction and inspection process.”- Geotechnical Engineer and/or Civil Engineer
· Limitations on “turfgrass” planting on the project site (402.3.5.7), calculations for compliance with acceptable percentage is included in the documents stated above, - Landscape Architect
· Submission of a building site waste management plan – toward recycling or salvaging 75+% of site soils, “rocks, trees, stumps, and associated vegetation” (402.3.6), actual submittal requirements are not listed; however, approval by the building official is mandatory – therefore, documentation demonstrating compliance should be included in the (construction) documents for permit application, - Landscape Architect and/or Civil Engineer
· Requirement for showering and changing facilities (if long-term bicycle parking is required in 403.3) (403.2), calculations for compliance are included in the (construction) documents, - Architect
· Requirement for long term and short term bicycle parking (chart of compliance requirements included in IGCC (403.3), “designated on the site plan by a registered design professional” – included in the (construction) documents for permit submission. - Architect
· Requirement and preference for “high-occupancy vehicle parking” (403.4.1), calculations for compliance are included in the (construction) documents, - Architect
· Requirement and preference for “low-emission, hybrid, and electric vehicle parking” (403.4.2), calculations for compliance are included in the (construction) documents, - Architect
· Submission of 10-year canopy growth of all planted trees, and canopy-contribution of existing trees – including shading calculations (404.2.3), “construction documents shall be submitted that show the planting location and anticipated ten year canopy growth of all trees and that show the contributions of existing tree canopies; and; shading calculations shall be shown on the construction documents demonstrating compliance with this section and shall include only those hardscape areas directly beneath the trees based on a ten year growth canopy”, - Architect
· Requirement for light pollution control (405.1), (where applicable), calculations are required on the (construction) documents, - MEP Engineer
· Written periodic maintenance protocol for all landscaping and stormwater management systems (406.6(3)), submitted for approval prior to construction: “A soils map, site plan, or grading plan that indicates designated soil management areas for all site soils; a written erosion, sedimentation and pollutant control program for construction activities…; and, a written periodic maintenance protocol for all landscaping and stormwater management systems”. – Civil Engineer
· Building material design-life (503.2), “Not less than 55 percent of the total building materials used in the project, based on mass or cost, shall comply with Section 503.2.1, 503.2.2, 503.2.3, 503.2.4 or 503.2.5. Compliance shall be demonstrated in accordance with those sections singularly or in combination – although the specifics of “demonstrating” compliance are not stipulated, basis-of-design data would be stipulated in the (construction) documents, - Architect
· Submission of a building-service-life-plan (505), “A building service life plan (BSLP) in accordance with this section shall be included in the construction documents. The design service life shall be not less than 60 years and the BSLP shall indicate the design service life selected for the building.” – Architect and MEP Engineer, or outside consultant
· Moisture control preventative measures – inspected by an “approved agency” (506.3), “inspections based on the approved pre-determined frequency schedule”– the assumption is that a schedule of inspections must be submitted with the (construction) documents. – Outside consultant (building-envelope)
· Zero-energy performance index compliance (602.1), “The building shall be designed and constructed to have a zEPI not greater than the values shown in Table 602.1”. To prove compliance, this requirement will be detailed in the (construction) documents, and submitted as part of the permit process. - Architect and MEP Engineer
· Building energy simulation assignment to the “design professional” (603.5), “where it is required that documents be prepared by a registered design professional, the code official shall be authorized to require the owner to engage and designate on the building permit application a registered design professional who shall act as the registered design professional in responsible charge of building energy simulation. If the circumstances require, the owner shall designate a substitute registered design professional in responsible charge of building energy simulation who shall perform the duties required of the original registered design professional in responsible charge of building energy simulation. The code official shall be notified in writing by the owner if the registered design professional in responsible charge of building energy simulation is changed or is unable to continue to perform the duties”. – MEP Engineer
· Energy metering-monitoring-reporting (604), the (construction) documents must indicate the methods that “ensure that buildings are constructed or altered in a way that will provide the capability for their energy use, production and reclamation to be measured, monitored and reported”, - MEP Engineer and Architect
· Offsite control of HVAC and lighting through Auto-DR interface (605.1,605.3,605.4), the (construction) documents must delineate compliance, MEP Engineer
· Requirement for rough-ins for “future” solar-hot-water systems (608.4), the (construction) documents must delineate compliance, - MEP Engineer
· Plug load controls (609.6), the (construction) documents must delineate compliance, - MEP Engineer
· Energy-star appliance listing (by owner) and reporting (by owner)(610.3.1), “Compliance shall be documented and verified by the approved agency designated by the adopting agency, during the commissioning or operational phase of the building”, - Owner, commissioning agent, Architect
· Minimum energy-star appliance requirement – by percentage of total “appliances” (610.3.2), Owner documentation required, - Owner, Architect
· On-site renewable power requirements – physical devices (611), “Each building or surrounding lot or building site where there are multiple buildings on the building site shall be equipped with one or more renewable energy systems in accordance with this section”. Construction document must delineate compliance. – Architect, MEP Engineer
· Requirement for post-occupancy re-commissioning-repeated 18-24 months after issuance of the C of O (612.3.5), “Within 60 days from approval conducting the final mechanical inspection, the registered design professional shall provide evidence of mechanical systems commissioning and completion of the mechanical system installation to the code official and in accordance with the International Energy Conservation Code. Drawing notes shall clearly indicate provisions for commissioning and completion requirements in accordance with this section and are permitted to refer to specifications for further requirements. Copies of all documentation shall be given to the owner and made available to the code official upon request.” – Architect, Commissioning Agent, MEP Engineer
· Building envelope commissioning prior to issuance of the C of O (612.4), Pre-construction documentation: “Construction and owner education documents shall indicate the location, nature and extent of the work proposed and show the functional requirements and operation of all building thermal envelope systems demonstrating conformance to the provisions of this code, relevant laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, as approved by the code official.” – Commissioning Agent
· Requirement for an indoor air quality management plan (during construction) (801.2), no stipulation for when this documentation is required; however, submittal is implied as part of the permit documents, - Architect
· Requirement for indoor air quality testing (after construction) – flush-out or IAQ-testing (804.3), Since occupancy is permitted to start 7 days after start of the flush-out (or IAQ testing), documentation by a testing agency or design / commissioning professional is required, - Architect, MEP Engineer
· Entry mats required (804.4), indicated on the (construction) documents – with specifications for compliance, - Architect
· Emission limits for “glued wood products” – interior and exterior (part of the “weather covering”) (806.1), indicated on the construction documents – with specifications for compliance, - Architect
· Acoustics and acoustic submissions (interior and exterior) (807.1-.5), all exterior wall and roof assemblies must show STC ratings (for compliance) on the construction documents, - Architect and Acoustic Consultant
· Acoustics verification and testing (post construction) demonstrating compliance with the acoustic sections (807.5), “an approved agency, funded by the building owner, shall furnish report(s) of test findings indicating that the results are in compliance with this section and the construction documents. Discrepancies shall be brought to the attention of the design professional and code official prior to the completion of that work. A final testing report documenting required testing and corrections of any discrepancies noted in prior tests shall be submitted at a point in time agreed upon by the building owner, or building owner’s agent, design professional, and the code official for purposes of demonstrating compliance”, - Architect and Acoustic Consultant (with field-testing capabilities)
· Floor-plate manipulation (to enable the required percentage of interior day-lighting) (808.3), “daylit area” calculations must be submitted on the construction documents to verify compliance with the required percentages of total floor area. - Architect
· Commissioning (903), “Where application is made for construction as described in this section, the registered design professional in responsible charge or approved agency shall perform commissioning during construction and after occupancy as required by Table 903.1. Where Table 903.1 specifies that commissioning is to be done on a periodic basis, the registered design professional in responsible charge shall provide a schedule of periodic commissioning with the submittal documents that shall be reviewed and approved by the code official”. – Commissioning Agent, MEP Engineer, Architect
· O & M documentation, maintenance, and education (904.1-904.4), “The operations and maintenance and building owner education documents shall be in accordance with Sections 904.3 and 904.4 and submitted to the owner prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy. Record documents shall be in accordance with Section 904.2. The building owner shall file a letter with the code official certifying the receipt of record documents and building owner education, operations and maintenance documents. At least one copy of these materials shall be in the possession of the owner and at least one additional copy shall remain with the building throughout the life of the structure. The owner shall cause to be assembled an informational document on the building, site or structure and systems and sustainable features that are covered by this code and included in the building”. - Architect and General Contractor
· Energy reporting / audits (904.1.1)(1003.3.1), “Where required by Table 302.1, a report confirming that the building is maintained and operated at the level of performance required by the approved documents shall be submitted to the code official at approved intervals. The building owner shall commission a building energy audit and provide copies of the audit report to the local jurisdiction. The audit shall be conducted by persons qualified to perform such audits, as determined by the code official. The energy audit report shall indicate the improvements listed in Sections 1003.3.2 through 1003.3.9 that the IGCC Public Version 2.0”. – Owner, Commissioning Agent, Independent Testing Agency, Architect
So, there it is…more work for the same fee – just to deliver a “code-compliant” project…but, perhaps you think you’ll convince your client to increase your base-fee…well, if you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve, let me know; because, if the IGCC is adopted, we’ll all be looking for the same trick…
Next time: 3 - The IGCC is totally unnecessary - It expands (and redefines) the standard-of-care…
BTW: the numbers in parenthesis refer to specific paragraphs in the IGCC… LEED is a trademark of the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.