Massachusetts has consistently been a national leader in energy efficiency, especially in new construction.
With buildings making up 40 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, decarbonization measures in new construction offer critical solutions to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Base codes only go so far to address emission reduction goals, so states must take the lead and adopt above code measures in order to effectively respond to a changing climate.
Massachusetts has recently revamped its energy stretch code in order to meet the targets set by the Global Warming Solutions Act. This ambitious Updated Stretch Code adopts stronger measures that greatly exceed those of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The Updated Stretch Code requirements outlined in this document take effect for buildings permitted on or after July 2023. For existing Green Communities, the Updated Stretch Code will automatically take effect immediately in July 2023 without the need for adoption by municipalities. The Municipal Opt-In Stretch Code will be available for adoption in late December 2022. The recommended effective period is at least six months after adoption, allowing an easier transition for developers, builders, and designers, and giving time for training municipal code officials. This adoption cycle mirrors that of the stretch code, which would initially take effect in either January or July, depending on which is at least six months from the adoption date.