Q: Are Building Codes adopting High Performance Green Building Techniques?

A: The Department of Energy has set guidelines where they would like States to go with regards to Energy Efficiency in commercial and residential buildings. Model building energy codes and standards have the potential to save U.S. consumers an estimated $330 billion dollars by the year 2040.

The State of Washington updated their Energy Code effective July 1, 2013. What is interesting is that they are taking a first step to a goal of decreasing energy consumption by 70% in both commercial and residential building by 2031. (RCW 19.27A.160)

Federal law requires states to periodically certify that the energy code adopted in their jurisdictions meets or exceeds specific national reference standards. For now, (residential buildings) the State must certify that the energy code meets or exceeds the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. The Certification requirement was due buy by July 20, 2013, hence the State’s adoption on July 1, 2013.

What does the mean? Change for the good is upon us homebuilders. Some grumble while other like us take the lead.

Many consumers take the long view for a mortgage (30 year fixed). We feel they should take the long view in terms of how homes are built in regards to energy efficiency. One day they will sell their home, building codes at that time will be better in regards to energy consumption. The home they will be selling will be at a disadvantage unless that home is built today with these long term goals in mind, if not the consumer get short changed.

The next few weeks we will go into more detail about how we achieve these federal energy savings goals.

I also enjoy reading the paper daily. Thank you for doing so.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!