Q:   How will the new State of Washington Energy Codes affect your business?

A:  It will not have much of an impact on Quail Homes. Let me explain.

Businessman holding house shape blackboard with chalk energy efficiency rating chart concept for Washington State Energy Codes

By 2030, homes built will use 70%less energy than those built prior to 2012.

In 2006 there was much discussion of new State wide improvements on how homes will perform in regards to energy efficiency. The first year that higher standards were to be implemented was 2012. Every three years new improvements to the Code Built new home will be required so that by 2030 homes would use 70% less energy than those built prior to 2012.

In the year of 2012 the State took a baby step. The Code is managed by a point system. Points are granted for efficient equipment like Heating and Cooling or Hot Water heaters, points for homes that minimize air leakage, points for improved insulation and improved wall and window assemblies, points for keeping equipment/duct work in conditioned spaces and points for renewable energy like solar. Builders could merely pick more efficient equipment and meet the code set by the 2012 standards.

In July of 2016 the new Code requirements will emphasize stronger measures than just buying better equipment. This will be a huge adjustment to how homes are built. I would imagine a big learning curve for most new home builders. It will require a different way in how plans are drawn, different strategies in how to deploy new methods to achieve the new requirements and a workforce that will need to improve dramatically.

Fortunately for Quail Homes, we made these adjustments during the downturn. We took a proactive approach when things were slow. I knew these improved Codes would be difficult to implement when everybody was busy (like now). We have a trained workforce that delivers High Performance new homes and custom homes and am happy for that.

Next week I will discuss in more detail about the Energy Code changes.

I hope this helps and thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800