Energy efficient construction efforts aren’t just a good thing to do in the state of Maryland, they are a law. Well, an optional law.

Earlier this month, the Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law legislation passed by the state’s General Assembly adopting the Intl. Green Construction Code (IGCC) as an optional requirement for new construction of commercial buildings and residential properties more than three stories high, effective March 2012.

According to the ICC, www.iccsafe.org, Washington, D.C., recent adoptions of IGCC include an optional code in Richland, Wash.; an alternative requirement for new public buildings in Rhode Island; and the nation’s first tribal community enactment in Kayenta Township, Ariz., with an optional requirement with mandatory applications still under consideration, to name a few.

Designed as a tool for jurisdictions to adopt into laws reducing the environmental impact of construction projects, the IGCC also has a safety component to it, ensuring safety measures remain intact and enforceable.

As adoption for green standards becomes more widespread, it will be interesting to see how contractors on these jobs change to meet the new requirements. The use of new technology continues to play a prevalent role for building green. Recent research shows applications like document-management systems, and even Web-based collaboration systems are considered “green” technology systems for contractors.

While the IGCC is more about the practices and materials used during construction of a project, as well as for the long-term performance and safety of commercial and high-rise residential buildings, it is imperative that technology plays a role. That being said, it will be interesting to see how contractors turn to technology to help them build “greener” in the months to come.