Nature-based solutions are essential, but they are not sufficient in themselves, to address our climate challenges. The other critical part of the equation is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (AKA CEJA) became law last fall. It establishes specific goals and deadlines for reducing GHG emissions. The law is over 950 pages long, and it has many provisions for changing our built environment, including new building performance standards, building electrification, and EV-readiness.
We want to draw the Village's attention to one particular provision: Stretch Codes. In brief, a stretch code is an optional code that municipalities may choose to adopt if they want to take stronger action, resulting in new buildings that achieve higher energy savings. The stretch code defines a higher level of energy efficiency for new construction than the currently applicable energy code.
Stretch codes have not yet been developed. The Illinois Capital Development Board will have written these residential and commercial energy codes by July 31 next year. These codes will go beyond the upcoming 2021 amendments of the state energy code that the village will be adopting.
Building codes are an important tool in reducing carbon emissions. Building operations account for nearly 30% of CO2 emissions in the U.S. Add in the emissions from materials and construction, and the number rises to 40%. Building efficiency saves residents money and reduces carbon emissions.
Look for more information about stretch codes in the March edition of the Greener Glenview Bulletin.