Stretch code defeated
Also going down to defeat was the stretch building code that has stricter energy efficiency requirements than the base building code. Towns that adopt the stretch code are eligible for thousands of dollars in Green Community state grants. Lancaster and Harvard adopted the stretch code and have received more than $100,000 in grants. Bolton’s Energy Committee sponsored the article.
Proponents said that while the initial investment in new construction or renovations would be higher, payback in energy savings would make up for it. In addition, stretch code homes have higher resale value and guaranteed energy efficiency.
Opponents said the stretch code adds enough cost and regulation, in the form of energy testing, to be a burden, despite future energy savings. Plus, stretch code homes were so tightly sealed that more sophisticated ventilation systems were needed, negating the energy savings. Anyone who wants to build more energy efficiently is free to do so, they said.
The state will adopt the current iteration of the stretch code as the base code in 2012, at which time a new stretch code will be available. Towns that vote to adopt the stretch code are obligated to conform to every iteration unless they opt out at a future Town Meeting.
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