Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption and GHG emissions. States and cities which approve the new 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will require new buildings to reduce their overall energy usage by 10 percent compared to the previous standards, significantly reducing energy usage around the country.
The code was validated last week by the board of the International Code Council. More than 2,000 state and city officials from 641 jurisdictions participated in updating the building code. Some changes in the new code include mandates that buildings have high-efficiency water heating, electric circuits to allow future conversions to highly efficient electrified equipment and be ready for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
Many cities and states around the country have set ambitious carbon emissions reduction goals. This code, set to be finalized and ready for implementation this fall, would make it easier for cities to move towards their goals.
The buildings we construct now will be around for generations. Implementing greener building practices as soon as possible is a great solution for optimizing the sustainable future of cities.