Green Building Codes & Standards; Energy Conservation Codes

On this page:

Green Building News
Green Building Code Requirement in State Statute
The 30% Solution
Climate Change?

See Green Homes & the NGBS for information on the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), critiques of and comparisons to the LEED green building rating system, and other links to energy efficiency resources.


Green Building News

(6-18-14)  Why Look for the NGBS Green Certified Mark? - Cindy Wasser, Home Innovation Research Labs

(12-16-16)  CT works on a new energy strategy as old one misses the mark - CT Mirror; explores the CES four years after Gov. Malloy announces the energy plan.

(9-26-14)  Energize Connecticut Videos Address How to Improve Water Heating at Your Home or Small Business.

(6-18-14)  Why Look for the NGBS Green Certified Mark? - Cindy Wasser, Home Innovation Research Labs

(5-30-14) Energize Connecticut Video Series Helps You Save Money and Energy at Home; See YouTube video on how it works.

(9-19-13) Energize Connecticut - Save money through energy efficiency programs. See YouTube video on how it works.

ANSI Approves the 2012 ICC 700-National Green Building Standard - from NAHB (1-23-13); see more on the NGBS.

Governor Malloy announces Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) (12-14-12) - The state's Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) was announced and released by Governor Malloy on Oct. 5, 2012. The HBRA of CT has reviewed the plan and submitted comments on Dec. 14, 2012. The CES is designed to reduce energy costs, increase choice and reliability and improve the state's economic competitiveness. The CES presents opportunities for our industry although we offer both cautions and suggestions on how to improve it. See DEEP's Comprehensive Energy Strategy web page; 184 pg Energy Strategy Plan; and Executive Summary.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Supports National Green Building Certification for Habitat for Humanity Homes (11-7-11)

The 2009 IECC was approved, with a CT amendment, and became effective on Oct. 7, 2011 - See below (9-27-11); the 2012 IECC will be approved in 2013.

Massive New Energy Policy and Creation of New Agency - Dept of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) passes (Public Act 11-80 - warning, 280 pages long); see OLR Summary of this act.

Reuse Marketplace - "A free regional network to find, sell, trade, or give away reusable and surplus items that would otherwise be disposed as trash...." (11-28-12)

The Appraisal Institute has proposed a Residential Green Building Addendum for public consideration - click here; see also from the National Assoc. of Realtors, its resources to help green the MLS. For more on appraisals, click here.

Forest Service Report Documents Environmental Benefits of Wood as a Green Building Material (9-29-11)

Energy Efficiency Tax Credit Extended through 2011 - tax package includes extension of credit, but value is reduced.

NBN article: Appraisers making headway in recognizing value of green home features (5-16-11)

White House Programs to Promote Energy Efficiency Retrofits (from NAHB, 11-15-2010)

Sunlight Construction's Zero Energy Challenge home featured in Hartford Business Journal (7-26-2010)

Loans for Green Homes (New York Times, 2-3-2010)

Federal Stimulus Package Includes Grant Program to Enhance Building Code Enforcement - grants are tied to enforcement of energy code requirements; from International Code Council (ICC) (3-31-2009)

Expiring Federal Energy Tax Incentive Extended - from NAHB (10-6-2008); including Tax Credits for Existing Home Improvements (11-28-2008) - Remodelers and home owners - take note

Before You Build Green - A Primer to Avoid Liability - from NAHB (10-14-08)

Green Liability Issues - from Shipman & Goodwin LLP (10-21-08)

Study Shows How to Combine SIPs Roofs and Concrete Walls - from NAHB (10-28-2008)


Green Building Code Requirement in CT State Statute

State legislature adopts law to implement a Comprehensive Energy Strategy with Public Act 13-298. See the legislature's summary of this massive new law.

Environmental groups and Governor Malloy's 2012 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (see above) recommended adoption of the 2012 IECC by July 1, 2013.  However, CT Codes and Standards, having just adopted the 2009 IECC with amendments (see below), began reviewing the 2012 IECC in January 2014.  The expected adoption date will be late 2014.  See the Home Innovation Research Labs' analysis of the 2012 IECC.

2009 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), as amended, was adopted on Sept. 27, 2011, by the legislature's Regulations Review Committee, and became effective in CT for all building permits filed on or after Oct. 7, 2011 (the date DCS filed it with the Secretary of State's office). See CT's amendments to the 2009 IECC; see also, "Highlights of the 2009 IECC" from Peter Harding, Home Energy Technologies LLC.

See also our general State Building Code page.

The state building code statute that references green building construction practices (sec. 29-256a of the General Statutes) needed serious overhaul after its original passage in 2007, which was pushed through the state legislature by environmental advocates and Environment Committee leaders without heeding the warnings of building professionals and code experts. Repeated attempts to convince state legislators that change was necessary led to the adoption of Public Act 09-192.

Background: The green building code statute, adopted as PA 07-242, sec. 78, was confusing at best and caused much disruption in the construction industry and among building code officials. While we support green building practices and urge the adoption of incentives to move the marketplace toward purchasing green buildings, the HBRA of CT opposed this unworkable code statute in 2007.

The effective date of the statute was Jan. 1, 2009. So, we again tried to fix this statute in the 2008 session. The Public Safety & Security Committee did, in fact, adopt a corrective amendment during the 2008 regular session, but the fix was on the Environment Committee's global warming bill and a floor amendment reversed the fix. With a looming Jan. 1, 2009, deadline for all construction to comply, we and a coalition of industry and code officials tried to fix it again in the November 2008 special session, but could not impress upon legislative leaders the urgency of the cause. An "informal" letter to the Commissioner of the Dept. of Public Safety from the Attorney General's Office sent about the time of the special session stated that the Jan. 1, 2009, deadline was not effective. However, this letter does not carry the weight of a judicial ruling and the industry and code officials remained perplexed and concerned about the statute's impact.

Also, given the informal attorney general's letter and lack of success in the November 2008 special session, the Dept. of Public Safety on Nov. 26, 2008, decided to redraft the proposed code amendments by deleting the green building provisions, offering to work on a new, separate code amendment to try to interepret the confusing language. While this was welcome news, i.e., that the agency understands the issues the industry faces with this statute, the uncertainty of the statute still hung over investment capital decisions. Therefore, the HBRA of CT, industry coalition and code officials tried again in the 2009 regular legislative session to fix this statute. This time successfully. A meeting held on Jan 13, 2009, with the co-chairs and ranking members of the Public Safety Committee was positive, as was the public hearing on RB 6284 on 2-3-09.

Developed by a coalition of industry and building code officials, House Bill 6284 was raised, considered at a public hearing, amended at a subsequent meeting with environmental advocates and passed unanimously by the Public Safety & Security Committee in the CT General Assembly. The bill addressed all parties' concerns.

In 2010, the State Codes & Standards Committee incorporated PA 09-192 into the next State Building Code by adopting a modified version of the 2009 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), scheduled to become effective in CT in 2011. The proposed 2009 IECC adoption generated some controversy. The CT Fund for the Environment (CFE) proposed 21 amendments to the 2009 IECC, most of which were rejected by Codes & Standards. To see the HBRA's Jan. 25, 2010, testimony on CFE's proposed amendments, click here. On Dec. 15, 2010, CFE again questioned whether the 2009 IECC meets the requirements of PA 09-192, delaying adoption even further. To see the HBRA's Dec. 16 response, click here. Regarding final adoption of the 2009 IECC, see above.


The 30% Solution

At the September 2008 International Code Council (ICC) hearings, a coalition of environmental groups and insulation manufacturers tried, but failed, to once again mandate new energy efficiency requirements that simply don't work for consumers, home builders and remodelers. The "30% solution" will not be included in the 2009 IRC (International Residential Code).

Straight Talk on the "30% solution" - Article from NAHB on a Sound Energy Efficiency Policy

Why the so-called "30% solution" is no solution at all - see NAHB's Talking Points, FAQs, and Policy Statement

NAHB's PowerPoint slides on the "30% solution"


Climate Change

Co-Founder of GreenPeace explains climate change - 5 min video

Another perspective on climate change - 19 min video

See NAHB's July 17, 2008, Testimony in Congress

Global Warming Primer (from National Center for Policy Analysis)

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