Building Codes Activity
On Friday, March 31, SF 388 was sent back it's original committee of reference, which effectively killed the bill this legislative session. SF 388 would have allowed municipalities to use the 2009 IECC to comply with state energy code requirements for residential buildings, instead of the stronger statewide energy code, the 2012 IECC.
HF 1001 and SF 745 (companion bill) were introduced in the Minnesota Legislature on Thursday, February 9. This bill would require that a state agency "determine if implementation of a proposed rule, or any portion of a proposed rule, will, on average, increase the cost of residential construction or remodeling by $1,000 or more per unit." If this occurs, the agency must notify the house and senate policy committees for permission to proceed. The bill only factors in the costs—not the benefits—of each rule and adds an additional hurdle to updating future state energy codes.
These bills are now moving in the House and Senate Energy Omnibus Bills.
The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) held three public hearings and accepted written comments on its proposed commercial energy code (2015 IECC by reference) for potential adoption.
The proposed code includes several weakening amendments which will reduce its level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. MEEA and several other organizations testified at the final hearing in Madison on February 2 in support of adopting the unamended 2015 IECC. The WI DSPS is currently taking all comments into consideration and will send a final set of rules to various legislative committees and eventually Governor Walker for approval. At this time the anticipated effective date is late summer or early fall.
St. Louis County, MO
The St. Louis County Building Commission held a public meeting on Wednesday, February 8 to review the proposed building code based on the 2015 suite of I-Codes.
Despite opposition from an overwhelming majority of attendees and multiple letters warning of the potential harm to consumers, the commission voted unanimously to approve the proposed building code. The rules now go to the St. Louis County Council for final approval.
For more information on the building commission hearing, check out the coverage from St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis Post Dispatch and St. Louis Magazine.