The Belmont will host a public forum on Monday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. on the proposed 'Stretch Code' that will create energy efficient buildings.
Belmont’s annual Town Meeting will consider adopting the Stretch Code when it meets in late April.
Roger Colton, one of the co-chairmen of the Energy Committee, is encouraging the public to attend the forum, saying it is an opportunity for Town Meeting members to become informed of the Stretch Code warrant article.
The meeting, to be held at the Belmont Town Hall, will include Marc Breslow, director of transportation and building policy for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to discuss the code.
Breslow is the head of the state office helping communities adopt and implement the Stretch Code statewide.
Many of Belmont’s neighboring communities have adopted the Stretch Code, including Arlington, Watertown, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Medford, Concord and Lincoln.
Colton said the Stretch Code is an energy efficient building code adopted by the state Board of Building Regulations and Standards that allows cities and towns to choose a more energy-efficient option.
The Stretch Code offers a streamlined and cost effective route to achieving approximately 20 percent better energy efficiency in new residential and commercial buildings than is required by the base energy code.
This is largely achieved by moving to a performance-based code, where developers are required to design buildings so as to reduce energy use by a given percentage below base code, rather than being required to install specific efficiency measures. Developers have flexibility to choose cost effective and appropriately designed solutions.
According to Jan Kruse, chair of the Residential Sub-committee of Belmont’s Energy Committee, adopting the Stretch Code is a critical step toward achieving the emission reduction goals previously approved by Belmont’s Town Meeting. In the fall of 2009, Town Meeting endorsed the objective of reducing carbon emissions in Belmont by 80 percent by 2050.
Construction costs are estimated to increase approximately $3,000 for a typical single family home, and by 1 percent to 3 percent of total costs for commercial buildings.
For more information, e-mail either Jan Kruse, firstname.lastname@example.org or Roger Colton, email@example.com