This is the testimony I have sent to the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) asking them to adopt new "Net Zero" stretch building code. Thanks to Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) for working on this issue for so long.
Richard Crowley, Chair Lisa Davey, Vice-Chair Massachusetts Board of Building Regulation and Standards (BBRS) Dear Chair Crowley and Board Members,
I am writing to express my strongest support for adopting the most ambitious Net Zero Massachusetts building code possible. As I am writing here, Boston sits at 75F in the middle of November! This is not normal. We must find a way to drive all fossil fuel emissions to zero as soon as technically possible - and the buildings contribute a large portion of our greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is, from many practical examples across Massachusetts we see that building modern, energy-efficient buildings is possible today with existing technology, it has little effect on the overall costs, and yet saves a huge amount of money long term.
Some people might ask you to drop this code due to potentially higher costs or will ask to preserve fossil fuel usage in the new buildings due to (as they would claim) lower natural gas prices. Please consider this: stealing is cheaper than buying, yet we do not steal. And using fossil fuels today, when we know their devastating effects on the Earth's climate, is effectively stealing the future from ourselves and the next generation. Please do not rely on the current gas costs when making the building code decision, as we for sure will pay a dear price for it over the coming years.
A strict net-zero building code would level the playing field and would ensure that buildings that will serve us for generations are energy-efficient and do not contribute to the planet's destruction.
Dr. Gleb Bahmutov, PhD