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Thursday, November 29, 2007

County Building Regs Coming Around Again

The Boulder County Commissioners will be vetting the details to the new residential remodel/construction regulations next month; the Board of Review discussed the topic last night regarding the BuildSmart program. I support the zero waste aspects that will have deconstructed material reused if possible or otherwise recycled somehow. Homes over 3000 sq feet will need to produce 50% of their energy from on-site renewable energy sources; 5000 sq ft homes will need to produce 100% of their energy from renewable sources within a year (See page 5 here). The energy use standards are measured with the HERS standard.

So, is such an energy use/production requirement a de facto moratorium on large homes? I'm starting to change my mind, as builders describe the possibilities with current technology. But there's still a heavy handed and hence inappropriate feeling I get seeing the government require such aspects of home construction. It's the sense that there's a resentment over the size of the home itself, and the energy efficiency is the secondary but ostensibly primary reason for the rules. This is all just perception based on side comments I hear from supporters of the rules. A "Who needs a house that big?! Make 'em pay, then." kind of sentiment.

A public hearing on BuildSmart will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 18.

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