Green Building Advocates Want Pennsylvania to 'Unfreeze' the State's Energy Codes

Two icehouses have arrived in Harrisburg on a mission from the Central Pennsylvania chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
June 8, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Laura Legere reports on a creative demonstration of the power of innovative building practices taking place on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

There, green building advocates have placed two eight-foot-by-eight-foot sheds filled with blocks of ice. Legere explains in more detail:

The icehouse on the left meets Pennsylvania’s energy code requirements, which have not been updated since 2009. The one on the right is super-insulated and tightly sealed to meet passive house standards, an energy efficiency benchmark that surpasses even the most modern building codes.

It should only take three weeks to reveal the differences between the two sheds, and the idea behind the demonstration is to "inspire lawmakers to update the state’s energy conservation building codes and reform the process for adopting new code."

The state has a mandate to update its model international standards every three years, according to Legere.

The Senate and House have each passed bills this spring designed to revise the state’s building code adoption process, which has largely stalled since a 2011 law required an advisory board to approve each code change with a two-thirds vote and made it cumbersome to catch up with past standards.

The Central Pennsylvania chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council has organized and promoted the event along with partners. The chapter has provided more information on the demonstration with a press release on June 6, 2017, otherwise known as "Icehouse Demonstration Day."

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Published on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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