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Green Building News

Energy Efficiency Evolution in Western Missouri

A county in a Kansas City suburb considers implementing voluntary guidelines pegged to the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard

Though Missouri is among the dozen or so states that have yet to adopt a statewide energy efficiency code for residential and private commercial construction, it is not without green building proponents and strategies.

About a year ago, GBA noted that the Building Codes Assistance Project, a Washington, DC, advocacy group that offers code-development assistance to state and local officials, has been closely tracking state and local code initiatives, including those in Missouri, where homebuilding associations have argued against regulations they say will raise prices. But green builders in the state have nonetheless proposed programs designed to encourage high-performance construction, including one that would offer financial incentives, in the form of reduced permit fees, for building to the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard, also known as the ICC-700.

And now the ICC-700 – serving as the residential construction component of the International Code Council’s International Green Construction Code – is being considered for adoption as a voluntary guideline for homebuilding in Clay County, part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. (Clay County and Jefferson County, near St. Louis, are the only two counties in Missouri authorized to adopt, without voter approval, regulations for residential and private commercial construction, according to the BCAP.)

Soliciting feedback from the community

A recent story in the Liberty Tribune, which serves Clay County, describes the drive to implement ICC-700 on a voluntary basis as largely collaborative, with the county’s Building Codes Commission set to hold public meetings on the subject on July 14 and 28, and August 11.

The man behind the proposal, Matt Tapp, the county’s director of planning and zoning, included a provision to grade participating projects based on their compliance with the National Green Building Standard, and then post each home’s grade on a special sign in front of the house when it’s listed for sale.

“It’s been kind of in the back of my mind ever since I got here in 2008 that we needed to move toward a green building standard,” Tapp told the paper. “We want to make the houses that are being built in Clay County more sustainable. It’s just a good idea.”

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