Fighting for Better Buildings

Fighting for Better Buildings in MA 

Buildings are the 2nd largest source of emissions in the Commonwealth. Building code is a powerful tool to transform buildings from polluters to protectors of our health, communities and the climate.

The Next Generation Roadmap bill requires that the state develop a net zero stretch code, a building that will support the construction of buildings that are energy efficient, all-electric with renewable energy generated on-site or purchased off-site.  The state refers to this as a specialized stretch code.  

MCAN is currently mobilizing advocates to demand that the Mass. Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develop a true net zero stretch code that will ensure all new buildings and major gut rehabs:

  • Have healthy indoor air 
  • Are affordable to heat and cool
  • Reduce emissions by being all-electric and super energy efficient with renewable energy generated on-site or purchased off-site 

MCAN is deeply concerned about the fossil fuel pathways remaining for residential and commercial buildings. MCAN urges DOER to release a true net-zero code, one that accelerates the construction of energy efficient, all-electric buildings powered by renewable and clean energy.  This kind of code will protect the health and affordability for residents that stand to benefit the most from these climate resilient buildings. 

DOER Building Code Updates

On February 8, 2022, DOER released a straw proposal of a specialized stretch code that municipalities can adopt by early 2023. 

On June 27, 2022, DOER released an updated version of the new specialized stretch energy building code. 

You can find the DOER’s official stretch energy building code language here: 

  1. Summary Document Explaining the Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Opt-in Code Language
  2. Residential Low-Rise Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Opt-in Code Language (red-line of applicable code sections)
  3. Commercial and Other Stretch Energy Code and Specialized Opt-in Code Language (red-line of applicable code sections)

MCAN Actions and Resources  

MCAN Actions:

In response to the straw proposal, MCAN submitted a sign-on letter to DOER with recommendations for improving the specialized stretch code -- this letter was signed by over 300 people from 100 cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

MCAN Resources:

Check out MCAN's updated toolkit to support advocates in learning more about building code and how the specialized stretch code can be improved to align with the state's net zero emissions goals by 2050 while prioritizing equity issues.

Check out MCAN's Recording of the July 20 Letter Writing workshop

Check out MCAN's July 20 Letter Writing Slide-deck

Fliers:

Check out this flyer developed by the MA Net Zero Buildings Coalition that provides a quick overview of what a true net zero stretch code must include. 

Check out the above flyer translated in multiple languages. Please share with your networks widely. 

Check out the Net Zero Building Coalition's Myths vs. Facts About Net Zero and Fossil Fuel Free Buildings

Check out the Net Zero Building Coalition Good, Better & Best 1-pager

Actions For You to Take

Submit written comments to: [email protected] with the subject line: BUILDING CODE COMMENTS

Or Submit via mail to Ian Finlayson, Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114. 

Deadline for comments to DOER on the specialized stretch code is August 12th by 5pm!

  • Sarah Dooling
    published this page in Take Action 2022-03-25 13:39:01 -0400
  • Sarah Dooling
    published this page in Take Action 2022-03-25 13:35:34 -0400

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