The Town of Snowmass Village is one of the first municipalities in Colo. to adopt the 2012 International Green Construction Code with amendments for commercial buildings, and the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code for both residential and commercial buildings.
By enforcing these codes the Town aims to make the local building stock more efficient and promote the design, construction, and operation of buildings that have a positive impact on health, safety, and community welfare.
Buildings consume a tremendous amount of energy. According to a 2009 inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in Snowmass Village, electricity use for buildings and snowmelt systems accounted for more than 25 percent of overall carbon dioxide emissions. On a national scale U.S. buildings use 42 percent of the nation’s primary energy, 72 percent of its electricity, and 13.6 percent of its potable water.
“The community values our natural environment. It only makes sense that we update our codes to support the most state-of-the-art design and building methods to lessen their impact,” said Mark Kittle, chief building official for the Town of Snowmass Village. “In the long-term, the increased marketability, comfort, and performance of our building stock will benefit the community as a whole.”
The 2012 IGCC addresses the sustainability of an entire commercial building project and its site and promotes the conservation of water, materials, energy, and building systems. The 2012 IECC sets minimum energy efficiency provisions for both residential and commercial buildings. Users of the code can choose between two methods for showing compliance, the prescriptive and performance paths.
A long-term review effort of both codes was spearheaded by the Town’s building department with the support of a committee of local citizens and building industry professionals. Thanks to a grant from the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, independent consultants Jeff Dickinson, president of Biospaces, Inc., and Chris Green, president of Ago Studios were hired to review and comment on the proposed ordinance. CORE also provided a regional perspective to promote consistency with other green building efforts in the Roaring Fork Valley.
“Complying with stronger green building codes does require a learning curve, but by moving in a common direction regionally we can make it easier and more affordable to build green in Snowmass Village,” said Mona Newton, executive director for CORE. “Buildings last a long time. Through better codes, we can ensure that we do it right the first time and create long lasting savings.”
The new codes will take effect on December 1, 2013.