Green Codes and Laws
Building Codes for a Better Built Environment
There has been activity in the Pennsylvania legislature this Fall session. First, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 409 into law, creating Act 36 of 2017. This law gets Pennsylvania building construction away from the mandatory 2009 International Codes, allowing for updated codes to be evaluated and implemented. The Review and Advisory Council (RAC), with Maura Guttman as new chair, immediately agreed to review the 2015 International Code. While not perfect, this law allows buildings to be built to better standards for efficiency and safety. Click here for more information.
Marc Mondor of evolveEA, who is also Chair of the AIA Pennsylvania Government Affairs Committee, says, “We are pleased to see forward movement toward modernizing building codes in Pennsylvania. This long overdue measure will help building projects achieve better performance and better meet expected standards. We see this as a step towards our goal of greater competitiveness and congruence for design and construction requirements appropriate to market expectations, building technology and our region.”
A Reinvestment in Pennsylvania Solar Production
Several days later, Governor Wolf signed HB 118 into law, creating Act 40 of 2017. This law makes Pennsylvania work towards meeting its Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard goals with photovoltaic (PV) energy created solely in Pennsylvania. Previously any PV energy in the 13 state PJM territory sufficed, effectively making Pennsylvania rate payers subsidize other states for a majority of this power. The effect will be to enlarge the market for PV production in Pennsylvania.
This week Governor Wolf also announced that the Commonwealth Finance Authority’s Solar Energy Program will open a grant program of over $30 million to support the advancement of solar energy and community development. This is in addition to the CFA’s loan program already in place. Click here for more information.