Communities Go Better Than Code

Stretch codes pull toward green communities.

As reported by Carl Weinschenk of Energy Manager Today, many communities in the United States are discussing and implementing two classes of codes that go beyond those on the books–called “stretch” and “reach” codes. He notes:

Stretch codes go beyond basics, according to Cosimina Panetti, the Vice President of the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). “A stretch energy code is a voluntary appendix to a mandatory statewide minimum energy code that allows municipalities to adopt a uniform beyond code option to achieve greater levels of energy efficiency.”

Its cousin is a reach code.  BCAP distinguishes reach and stretch codes by pointing out that the former are more broadly applied:

Unlike stretch codes (which allow municipalities to adopt a uniform beyond code option), reach codes are a set of statewide optional construction standards for energy efficiency that exceed the requirements of the state’s mandatory codes.

There are, according to the Whole Building Design Guide, more than 300 reach codes in effect in the United States. Read the full blog here for how this will impact both builders and building code officials in the coming years.