The City of Boston has taken a significant step towards reducing its carbon footprint by opting-in to the stretch code. This decision was made after the Boston City Council voted in favor of adopting the new climate-friendly state building code, which includes the stretch code, on April 5, 2023.
The stretch code is an optional set of energy efficiency standards that municipalities can adopt to exceed the state’s building code requirements. It is designed to encourage energy-efficient building design and construction, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy and money for building owners and occupants. The Boston Climate Action Network and the Massachusetts Climate Action Network, alongside other groups, were instrumental in helping pass this code. Our efforts to raise awareness about the importance of adopting the stretch code helped make this decision possible. Taking this step has allowed the City of Boston to join a growing number of municipalities across the state that have already adopted the code. This decision is expected to have a significant impact on the city’s efforts to combat climate change and meet its carbon reduction goals.
According to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, “Adopting the stretch code is an important step towards meeting our climate goals and ensuring that Boston remains a leader in sustainability. By promoting energy-efficient buildings, we can reduce our carbon footprint and create a healthier, more resilient city for all.” The stretch code includes a range of energy efficiency measures, such as increased insulation, high-performance windows, and efficient heating and cooling systems. It also requires the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, to generate a portion of a building’s energy needs. One of the key benefits of the stretch code is that it can help lower energy bills for building owners and occupants. By incorporating energy-efficient design and construction practices, buildings can use less energy and therefore require less money to operate. In addition, the stretch code can help create jobs and support local businesses. The code can stimulate demand for products and services that help buildings meet the new standards. This can help create new jobs and business opportunities for local contractors, architects, and suppliers.
The City of Boston’s decision to opt-in to the stretch code is a significant step forward in its efforts to address climate change and promote sustainability. By adopting these new standards, Boston is demonstrating its commitment to creating a healthier, more resilient city for all.
Overall, the stretch code is an important tool for promoting energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector. As more municipalities adopt this code, we can expect to see significant progress towards a more sustainable and resilient future for our city.