Certified Green: The International Code Council Exam
A new certification program by the International Code Council (ICC), a code development organization in Washington, D.C., will attract a wide audience concerned with green and sustainable building technologies. The Green Building Technologies certification exam, expected to be available this spring, sheds light on green and sustainable building practices for many professions.
“The Green Building examination is about how the green concept applies to residential building though it could also be applied to commercial buildings,” says Doug Sucik, test developer and program manager with the ICC. “The certification could be sought by anyone from the general public: contractors, inspectors or other tradespeople, as well as mayors, city council or facilities maintenance people that need to know about environmental and energy conservation.”
Why ICC and Green Building?
The ICC Green Building certification helps ensure green building programs are implemented in a coordinated manner with the International Codes. In addition, most U.S. cities, counties and states that adopt building codes choose the International Codes developed by the ICC.
FMs Go Green
Facilities maintenance professionals will certainly be interested in pursuing the certification, says William Conley, CFM (Certified Facilities Manager), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional and Fellow with the International Facilities Maintenance Association. “The ICC Green Building certification follows the outline that the U.S. Green Building Council has set up for their LEED categories.” He notes the five major LEED areas are sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, as well as indoor environmental quality.
Conley says the ICC Green Buildings certification will help FM professionals. “It’s a good reference guide for them. Our main concern is the health and well being of people in a building. The chemicals you use, air quality and materials used down to the carpet and furniture all affect health.” The certification will also serve as a selling point when designated in a request for proposal that FMs or other professionals have a knowledgeable background. “It’s also great for cities, municipalities and other governmental departments. Whether for residential or commercial, it’s a wonderful tool for their planning departments,” Conley says.
“You’ll start seeing more and more green titles within building and code enforcement departments because the green movement isn’t just a fad,” says Michelle Murphey Porter, manager of test development with the ICC.
The ICC Test
“The 50-question, multiple choice exam will cover the gamut of building issues from plans, inspections, site layout and landscaping, building envelope, water efficiency and indoor air quality,” Sucik says. Topics such as placement of trees and green space, as well as windows and HVAC systems are covered in the two-hour test.
The test will be made available in both handwritten and computer-based form at ICC-authorized test centers throughout the country, Porter says. For more information on taking the Green Building test, see the ICC Certification Examination Information Bulletin.
Familiarity with a new standard will help candidates prepare for the certification. The ICC recently finished developing the National Green Building Standard, known as the ICC-700, in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders. "The standard provides guidance for safe and sustainable building practices for residential construction, including new and renovated single-family to high-rise buildings,” Sucik says.
More on the ICC 700 standards are available at:
In addition to an introduction course on the ICC-700 standard, the ICC has developed other courses and workbooks that will help candidates learn the concepts and codes associated with the Green Building certification. These include: Green Building and LEED, 2006 I-Codes and Green Building, and Developing Green Building Ordinances and Program