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Codes & Standards, Programs & Policy

MA Stretch Code Misaligned with Base State Energy Code

9 Jun , 2014  

MA Stretch Code update needed because it is misaligned with current MA Base Energy Code

NEREJ, June 6, 2014

In July 2009, Massachusetts became the first state to give local communities the option to adopt a local building standard that is more energy efficient than the state baseline energy code. Since then, more than 130 communities have adopted the Stretch Code in Massachusetts. The MA Stretch Energy Code (Stretch Code) is a voluntary supplement to energy code designed to help communities minimize life-cycle energy costs. This helps them meet criteria contributing to a Green Communities Designation under the Green Communities Act. Becoming a designated Green Community helps communities find and fund clean energy solutions that reduce long-term energy costs. These types of locally rooted efforts in Massachusetts have made it a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. For these types of advances, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years in a row.

The former MA Base Energy Code is the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC). The 2009 IECC references ASHRAE 90.1-2007. For large commercial buildings the current Stretch Code requires 20% less energy use than 90.1-2007. The new MA Base Energy Code is the 2012 IECC, which references ASHRAE 90.1-2010. An update to the MA Stretch Code has not been issued and the current Stretch Code will remain in effect until further notice from the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS). Until an update is issued, the current Stretch Code (90.1-2007) is misaligned with the current MA Base Energy Code (90.1-2010).

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