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www.greenbuildermag.com 08.2012


Building Code Activities’ Top 10 List 50


6. VERMONT Legislative News: Vermont’s Governor, Peter Shumlin, recently signed a sweeping bill that will give a boost to the recycling and composting eff orts of Vermonters. This law was passed partly because the legislature failed to agree on legislation to “create a comprehensive extended producer responsibility framework”. While Vermont recycles at a rate of 36%, some estimates see that number increasing to as high as 68%. According to a report from Resource Recycling, “the new law


will phase in mandatory recycling and composting, prohibiting the disposal of recyclable or compostable materials in landfi ll. It also eventually requires waste haulers to collect leaf and yard waste, as well as food scraps. The requirements begin with the largest processors of produce, and will steadily be applied to anyone who generates food waste.” Observation(s): The state needed to do something, as they were seeing their avail- able landfi ll capacity diminish. As time goes on, other states—and large cities—will need to address this issue. Obviously, smaller states and highly developed areas will be aff ected before larger ones, but this action off ers a progressive and sustainable solution for similar dilemmas.


7. HAWAII History: Currently, the state uses the 2006 IECC, with state-specifi c amend- ments.


General Code Information: The state Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means is considering a bill that would require the state building code to utilize provisions from the IgCC (International Green Construction Code). Observation(s): Hawaii understands how important the environment is to both tourism and their way of life, and has been very proactive in keep- ing their codes current and embracing renewable energy sources like solar and wind.


8. KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI General Code Information: In late May, the city council and mayor adopted numerous 2012 I-codes. Among the group is an amended version of the 2012 IECC, which places it between the 2009 and 2012 editions. While the new code is eff ective as of June 3, 2012, mandatory compliance will not begin until October 1, 2012. The new code places approximately 1/3 of the Kansas City metro area under an improved, consistent energy code. (Missouri does not adopt codes on a statewide basis, and a signifi cant portion of Kansas City is located in Kansas.)


Residential code improvements: ■


were exempt). ■ ■ All ducts must be in conditioned space or tested. Air infi ltration requirement at 5 ACH50. A testing protocol will be developed. ■ Window requirements improved to U-0.35 and SHGC of 0.4


(Previously, U-factor was at 0.40 and there was no SHGC require- ment.).


■ ■ ■


Ceiling insulation increased from R-38 to R-49. Hot water pipe insulation increased to R-3. Duct insulation improved to 2012 IECC levels.


Residential requirements that were not improved from the


current code: ■


■ ■ ■


Lighting requirement is not included. Above-grade wall insulation is not changed. Cavities can still be used as duct returns.


Insulation for slab-on-grade fl oors is not included.


Observation(s): Overall, this is a positive decision by the city, although we would have liked them to address some of the more impactful facets of energy effi ciency, such as wall insulation and lighting. Requiring at least 50% of the bulbs in new homes to be high-effi ciency would be a no-brainer. The incremental increase in hot water pipe insulation is a token gesture, and the gains from it are minimal. Raising the required levels to R-4 would at least have qualifi ed the homes for some green home building programs.


Basement wall insulation is required (Finished basements


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