Here's some very important information that you should know if you ever plan or building, remodeling or even owning a home here on Cape Cod! The State of Massachusetts has been working to adopt the International Code Council Building and Energy Codes since 2008/2009, moving away from our old "Version 6" of the building code, which had been in place for several years and was unique to the state. Since 2008, the state has moved quickly to not only adopt the International Code Council regulations, but to continue to update those regulations so we can be on par with many other states allowing us to use the latest and greatest versions of the code.
You may also have noticed that the cost of construction has also increased dramatically during that time, and a fair amount of that cost of building or remodeling a home can be attributed to the energy code compliance requirements of the IECC. Well as of this year, 2017, the state is planning to finalize the code versions using the 2015 codes, with Massachusetts amendments.
So what does this all mean? Under the 2015 Codes, we will now be held to the an extremely high standards of energy efficient construction in all new homes and renovations. If you are lucky enough to live in a "Stretch" energy code town (Such as Truro, Mashpee, Wellfleet and Provincetown) your project will have to meet the highest standards of construction in the state. Furthermore the 2015 codes provides energy rating credits for "green" power generation, i.e. solar panels or windmills, and may mandate design requirements such as a "solar ready" roof areas, which means roofs will have to have designed for future solar installations and provisions for electric vehicle chargers in every new home.
State of MA Energy Code Update and Summary
Overall, it's a great step towards energy efficiency and promotes renewable resources and green technology for new homes. Although these sorts of provisions will have a cost, visual and aesthetic impact, there will be net long term benefits from these new regulations.
If you are considering designing and building a new custom home, vacation home, major renovation or addition, you'll want to know how these regulations will impact your project. Feel free to reach out to the team at REEF today for your initial consultation. Click here to Contact us!