"Green" Building Code
Read the code HERE.
After three years of hard work, many meetings, emails, copyedits and fact-checking, a volunteer group of local architects, builders, planners and members of the Conservation Commission produced a set of amendemnts to Hastings' current building code that will ensure that new construction - and significant additions or renovations to existing buildings - will be done in accordance with high standards of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
The code was adopted by the Board of Trustees in October, 2013.
The Green Building Code committee dedicates this document to Bill Bobenhausen, who worked tirelessly on its initial drafts. We wish he were here to share in this accomplishment.
Why a "green" building code?
According to the US Green Buildings Council, (USGBC) buildings account for:
36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity consumption
30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
30 percent of raw materials use
30 percent of waste output (construction debris produces 136 million tons annually)
12 percent of potable water consumption
It is therefore prudent, both for individual savings and our collective benefit, that we raise our building efficiency and sustainability standards.
USGBC administers LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, which is a program that provides third-party verification of "green" buildings. Working on greening Hastings' built environment, we decided that a ratings system-equivalent was not enough: we wanted to have enforceable laws that would govern building decisions. The task was not a simple one, as codes are complex, legal documents that must take into consideration many factors. We strove to produce a code that would both propel construction and renovation toward more sustainable practices, but not unduly burden the homeowner or developer with expenses or challenges significantly outside of mainstream building practices.