The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today advocated Congress to oppose any federal mandates that require the adoption of stricter building codes since it might hurt home affordability, prevent healthy competition in the market and may not attain the planned outcomes.

Testifying on behalf of NAHB prior to the House Select Committee about the Climate Crisis, Jimmy Rutland, a house builder and developer by Montgomery, Ala. , said that preserving housing affordability has to be the cornerstone to some attempts to make cleaner and more powerful houses.

“Any efforts to improve or increase the efficiency or resiliency of the U.S. housing stock should focus on cost-effective, market-driven solutions,” stated Rutland.

New houses constructed to contemporary codes are more efficient, secure and resilient, making raising code stringency unnecessary, Rutland told lawmakers. “Similarly, because the codes are nearing a point of diminishing returns in terms of the cost-benefit ratio, additional updates may not be cost effective.”

As policymakers try to enhance efficacy and mitigate the effects of potential all-natural disasters, they will need to create incentives and opportunities to ease upgrades and improvements to the elderly houses, infrastructure and structures that are not as resilient to natural disasters. A complete 130 million houses from the country’s housing inventory of 137 million were assembled before 2010, and for that reason, weren’t subject to the new construction codes currently in effect.

“Since these homes also represent the biggest energy users and are the least resilient, programs and policies that focus on the existing housing stock would reap the most benefits,” stated Rutland.

He also emphasized the following points to lawmakers:

  • State and local authorities must maintain authority on land use and their code adoption procedures in order that they can continue to guide community development and execute the codes which best match their authorities.
  • Climate change mitigation programs which recognize and encourage voluntary-above code compliance possess an established history and show that mandates aren’t vital.
  • Incentives play a significant part in supplying home owners a cheap method to invest in energy efficiency and resiliency. Mandates, which fail to take into account the needs or needs of customers, lack the flexibility required for realistic, widespread application, and add unnecessary costs to home building and retrofits, are still an pragmatic approach to improving efficacy and home functionality.
Jeff Thornton