Administration Launches Initiative to Modernize Building Codes, Improve Climate Resilience, and Reduce Energy Costs

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June 2, 2022

On June 1, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced a National Initiative to Advance Building Codes to encourage state, local, and Tribal governments to adopt the latest building codes and standards.

According to the White House Fact Sheet, “Modern building codes and standards provide a range of smart design and construction methods that save lives, reduce property damage, and lower utility bills … and every dollar invested in building code adoption provides eleven times more in savings by reducing damage and helping communities recover more quickly.”

The announcement compiles previously announced initiatives with new ones to advance the effort to increase adoption of current building and energy codes and standards. According to the Fact Sheet, the initiative will:

  • Ensure federally supported housing and other building projects follow modern building codes and standards to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Harness $225 million included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the Department of Energy to support implementation of updated building energy codes.
  • Provide incentives and support for communities to adopt current building codes and standards by providing technical assistance and by implementing proven strategies and best practices.
  • Lead by example across the federal building portfolio by seizing opportunities to advance “above-code” resilience and energy efficiency standards in new projects, as well as by developing the first Federal Building Performance Standards to help achieve net-zero emissions across new and existing federal buildings by 2045.

Brian Pallasch, chief executive officer and executive vice president of IIBEC, noted, “Adopting the most up-to-date building codes ensures that the latest safety and energy efficiency measures are incorporated in our nation’s built environment. We appreciate the Biden-Harris administration using the tools at their disposal to encourage jurisdictions to adopt the latest standards.”