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Codes With a Side of Climate
(Article by Sara Gutterman)
Codes are designed to keep homeowners and building occupants safe and protected. They play a critical role in protecting the environment as well.
The connection between codes and the climate may, at first blush, seem oblique. However, the two are intricately connected. Codes are designed to make homes and buildings stronger, safer, healthier, and more durable. They’re designed to improve performance and energy savings. And in so doing, codes play a pivotal role not just in protecting lives, but the planet as well.
Buildings have a dramatic impact on the environment: they consume almost 40 percent of the energy produced in the U.S., and they release nearly half of our nation’s carbon emissions. After vehicles, buildings are the second largest source of ozone-depleting chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “About a third of pollution-generating chemicals come from buildings, including older, less insulated homes with inefficient furnaces and water heaters. Changing building codes won’t force older homes to be more efficient, but it will make new homes — homes that will be around for another 50 years or more — adhere to 21st century clean technology. The added cost is marginal, and home buyers want cleaner homes.”
Enhanced energy codes go a long way in reducing the environmental footprint of homes and buildings. The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) represents a…..
Continue reading at: https://www.greenbuildermedia.com/blog/codes-and-climate