The City Council of Kansas City, Missouri approved a vote 9-4 to update their building code to align with 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The approved ordinance (#220364) includes improvements to building envelope, air conditioning and water systems, as well as strengthening amendments that prepare buildings for the future installation of solar and electric vehicle charging stations. It also includes a ZERO Code provision which is a voluntary measure for commercial construction and provides a clear pathway for new or existing buildings to achieve net-zero.
In a release, Mayor Quinton Lucas stated, "I am proud of the commitment Kansas City has made to climate action throughout my term, setting an example for cities large and small across America, but the work must continue to ensure our community achieves climate neutrality. These updates to Kansas City's IECC codes are essential to ensure we reach our climate action goals. Enacting these new, more energy efficient standards will benefit residents long-term, saving families hundreds of dollars each year." Read more in the KC Business Journal.
The adoption of stronger energy codes comes at a time when federal funding for energy efficiency upgrades is reaching unprecedented levels with the passing of the IIJA and Inflation Reduction Act (USGBC). This includes a significant growth in tax incentives for high-efficiency buildings and homes as well as grant prioritization for cities that adopt stronger energy policies. The code sets our future building stock up for success by incorporating a high-performance building envelope when it is most cost-effective: at initial construction and baked into permanent financing. This allows for the initial investment and the subsequent utility savings to positively impact cash flow over the life of the building. This results in less volatility in utility expenses, improved resiliency to severe storms, and healthier and more comfortable dwellings for Kansas Citians to work, live and play.