Boston will soon adopt a new stringent green state building code that aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions in new construction and major renovations.
Adoption of Massachusetts’s “stretch code” means that the city will not create an outright ban on fossil fuels for heating, cooling, and appliances. It will, though, drastically reduce fossil fuels in buildings by adding expensive, climate-friendly requirements for developers choosing to install fossil fuel connections. There will be varied energy efficiency requirements for different building types.
The legislation also requires developers building with gas or oil to pay for extra wiring so buildings can go all-electric in the future. Buildings in Boston account for close to three-quarters of the city’s carbon emissions, according to estimates.
At least two other Bay State communities have adopted the stretch code, but Boston is the largest and has a more diverse building stock including labs and life science buildings with highly specific electricity and infrastructure requirements.
In a related development, Mayor Michelle Wu recently pledged $10 million in city funds to help affordable multi-family buildings become more energy efficient.