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New Building Codes Encourage Green Construction

August 23, 2010

MITCHELL, S.D. - The International Code Council has released new green construction codes to local governments across the country. The suggested codes outline how new buildings can be built to save energy.

International Code Council CEO Rick Weiland, formerly of Sioux Falls, says the codes represent commonsense approaches.

"They're really focused on building safe and smart - and now, sustainable - buildings. I feel like we're making a difference. We're saving lives, to some extent, maybe helping save our planet."

Some builders and city planners say the codes would add considerable cost to new buildings, but Weiland says green codes do make economic sense.

"I really think that there has to be a return on that investment, and if you look at the metrics within the code itself, you will see it. You may incur some upfront costs, but over the life of the building, you are actually saving money."

Weiland hopes towns and cities across the nation will become interested in adopting the codes. In fact, he says, a few communities are already taking initial steps toward adopting green building codes.

"This isn't something that is all-of-a-sudden gonna be everywhere, but for communities that are really interested in greening their built environment, we've now produced a code to do it with."

The green codes are available at www.iccsafe.org.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD