Adopt Higher Energy Building Standards
Adopting higher energy building standards is an important first action step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our buildings last 40, 50, even over 100 years, so future generations will be impacted by how we construct our buildings today. In order to avoid locking our buildings into decades of carbon intensive use, ambitious building codes can be a tool to reduce carbon emissions, promote better health, and improve the efficiency and longevity of our built environment.
In Minnesota, building codes are standardized throughout the state, limiting the local community’s power to implement more ambitious standards. While we can advocate statewide for “stretch” codes that build off of the statewide code or establish incentives for building beyond code requirements, municipal governments can adopt internal standards for government buildings and projects receiving general obligation funding.
The Sustainable Buildings 2030 Energy Standards, an initiative to make all newly constructed and renovated buildings carbon neutral by 2030, is a potential resource that could be adopted by Duluth and has been successfully applied for state buildings.
You can help move Duluth towards these greater standards by requesting that the City Council adopt a B3 Sustainable Buildings 2030 Energy Standard for all municipal buildings and publicly funded projects.
And, if you are building or renovating, you can voluntarily adopt higher building standards for energy or talk to your building contractor about their building practices.
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