Business Permitting

North Carolina Building Code Council Addresses Building Code Efficiency Standards

We’ve blogged before here about the North Carolina Building Code Council’s intentions with regard to efficiency standards contained within the North Carolina Building Code, which is updated every three years. The current code is based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code, with some state revision.

Way back in September, when Urban Meyer was still Florida’s head coach, the Council voted by a margin of 8-6 to delay updating the current North Carolina Building Code until, at the earliest, 2015. This irked some “green-minded” members of the public and the body politic.

Sure enough, the winds have changed (and Urban Meyer is out). The North Carolina Building Council voted Tuesday to order the increase in residential energy efficiency and to consider changes to building standards that could cut building costs by 15% within two years. Commercial buildings would be required to meet a 30% improvement in energy efficiency. According to reports, the new standards would call for more efficient windows and insulation, for example.

This 15% residential/30% commercial increase in energy efficiency represents a compromise on the 30% across-the-board efficiency increase originally proposed by the conservation-minded. While these standards have yet to take effect — they are still subject to review and the North Carolina General Assembly could still step in — this is an interesting development for local governments and developers. We’ll continue to watch with interest.

Mike Thelen is a lawyer in Womble Carlyle’s Real Estate Litigation practice group. He regularly represents a wide variety of clients in land use and land development issues, from local governments to businesses, in both state and federal venues throughout North Carolina.

Categories: Business Permitting

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