Several months ago, PLANET, Green Plants for Green Buildings, and several other organizations made an attempt to influence the LEED and carbon research data being gathered on a project that the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) was spearheading. Through a call to action sent out by the Interiorscape Industry Coalition members of these organizations flooded the IGCC’s office with e-mails and faxes, calling for a mandate for the use of plants in new and existing buildings.
Your response was heard loud and clear! Because of the amount of “commenters” in support of Section 810, Interior Plants & Pollutant Control, the commenters had to be listed at the end of the public comments instead of with each comment; identical individual comments were combined into a single comment.
This week in Chicago, the IGCC is holding public hearings to determine and verify facts. Mike Lewis, Green Plants for Green Buildings representative for the Interiorscape Industry Coalition (IIC), will represent the IIC at the hearing. After waiting 10 hours, Mike Rimland, representing the National Foliage Foundation, Charlie Acevedo, representing Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association, and Mike Lewis were able to present their statements. Their window of time for presenting was miniscule compared to the hundreds of other building trades, but Mike is excited to report they received 10 out of a possible 15 approvals, allowing us to move to Phase 2, which incorporates constructive comments from the review committee. This movement is not a U.S. project, and the fact that we are being asked to represent the industry for the Northern Hemisphere gives us even more clout. Collectively, the IIC and its collaborative partners; Brigham Young University, Green Plants for Green Buildings, OFA — an Association of Horticulture Professionals, Plantscape Industry Alliance, Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), Tropical Plant Industry Exposition, and Landscape Ontario, represent approximately 9,000 companies and 175,000 stakeholders. We are still a long way from gaining acceptance and any mandatory enforcement, and there are tons of questions.
Stay tuned for next month’s full report. Meanwhile, we should celebrate this accomplishment and realize the value of the IIC and of proactive advocacy. Interiorscapers are on the proverbial map!