The Washington State Building Code Council has voted to require heat pumps for all new residential construction starting in July 2023.
The new mandate has drawn criticism over concerns that it will add costs to housing construction, especially given current supply chain challenges for heat pumps.
An official with the Building Industry Association of Washington said the measure was a “de facto ban on natural gas” because it would mean that bringing in gas lines for cooking, backup heating, and decorative fireplaces would be cost prohibitive.
The code also applies to system upgrades, the official said. Homeowners that would want to upgrade the output of their gas furnaces would have to install a heat pump instead.
One Washington legislator said the mandate would mean higher up-front costs that make housing less affordable, increased potential for brownouts and blackouts due to grid-capacity constraints, and the prospect of higher energy bills.
K-12 Schools | May 25, 2023
From net zero to net positive in K-12 schools
Perkins Eastman’s pursuit of healthy, net positive schools goes beyond environmental health; it targets all who work, teach, and learn inside them.
Mass Timber | May 23, 2023
Luxury farm resort uses CLT framing and geothermal system to boost sustainability
Construction was recently completed on a 325-acre luxury farm resort in Franklin, Tenn., that is dedicated to agricultural innovation and sustainable, productive land use. With sustainability a key goal, The Inn and Spa at Southall was built with cross-laminated and heavy timber, and a geothermal variant refrigerant flow (VRF) heating and cooling system.
Office Buildings | May 15, 2023
Sixteen-story office tower will use 80% less energy than an average NYC office building
This month marks the completion of a new 16-story office tower that is being promoted as New York City’s most sustainable office structure. That boast is backed by an innovative HVAC system that features geothermal wells, dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) units, radiant heating and cooling, and a sophisticated control system to ensure that the elements work optimally together.
Headquarters | May 9, 2023
New Wells Fargo development in Texas will be bank’s first net-positive campus
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University Buildings | May 5, 2023
New health sciences center at St. John’s University will feature geothermal heating, cooling
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Multifamily Housing | Apr 17, 2023
World's largest multifamily building pursuing ILFI Zero Carbon certification under construction in Washington, D.C.
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Energy Efficiency | Apr 7, 2023
Department of Energy makes $1 billion available for states, local governments to upgrade building codes
The U.S. Department of Energy is offering funding to help state and local governments upgrade their building codes to boost energy efficiency. The funding will support improved building codes that reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency, according to DOE.
Cladding and Facade Systems | Apr 5, 2023
Façade innovation: University of Stuttgart tests a ‘saturated building skin’ for lessening heat islands
HydroSKIN is a façade made with textiles that stores rainwater and uses it later to cool hot building exteriors. The façade innovation consists of an external, multilayered 3D textile that acts as a water collector and evaporator.
Government Buildings | Mar 24, 2023
19 federal buildings named GSA Design Awards winners
After a six-year hiatus, the U.S. General Services Administration late last year resumed its esteemed GSA Design Awards program. In all, 19 federal building projects nationwide were honored with 2022 GSA Design Awards, eight with Honor Awards and 11 with Citations.
Geothermal Technology | Mar 22, 2023
Lendlease secures grants for New York’s largest geothermal residential building
Lendlease and joint venture partner Aware Super, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, have acquired $4 million in support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to build a geoexchange system at 1 Java Street in Brooklyn. Once completed, the all-electric property will be the largest residential project in New York State to use a geothermal heat exchange system.