Utilizing the Stretch Code in Newton, Massachusetts

Communities around the country are trying to utilize energy saving techniques and equipment during construction to reduce negative environmental impact. One way of successfully doing this is by utilizing the stretch code.

The Stretch code Newton MA, is an option in the Massachusetts building energy code that gives municipalities the ability to select energy efficient solutions that have greater efficiency than those required with regular code. Although this code has been accepted and used by several communities in Massachusetts, cities that have elected to utilize the code are the only ones that are actually required to use it. According to the mandates of the new code all residential new construction has to comply with the requirement that all new buildings must have a HERS rating equal to or less than seventy or sixty-five. The actual number is determined by the size of the building. Ultimately, an increase of twenty percent in building efficiency requirements is desired for both new residential and new commercial buildings.

Frequently, when builders follow the requirements of base codes, those codes are behind the times both in design practices and technological advances. Stretch codes offer exposure to new concepts in the building industry before the codes are changed and the advances are incorporated into standard building code. In some cases, utility companies offer incentives to builders who use designs with greater efficiency.

While it may be easier for builders to use traditional designs and building techniques, stretch codes bring old fashioned ideas in alignment with current trends as well as expose builders and distributors to future requirements in the building code. As interest in energy efficiency and low carbon footprints increases, cities and towns are attempting to find ways that buildings can be constructed in a manner that fit these requirements. The result of those efforts is the stretch code. It is also important that these codes work on a national level so that the greatest benefit can be made. Many of the changes implemented in the stretch code become part of mainstream building code for the benefit of municipalities that want to know they are being good stewards of where they live.

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