Aspen building codes need work

There is a staggering amount of waste designed into the building of the contemporary Aspen home. When you see the dozens of service trucks parked in the vicinity of one of these projects, you have to know that each one came from at least 30 miles away and that they do a round trip. The air and noise pollution from the excavations, concrete pours, materials deliveries, masonry saws, etc. per house is hard to quantify, but multiply it by the 180 permits that are current and you may feel a gut-punch. It is no wonder that the environment is in such trouble and that global warming is out of control.

Aspen City Council has declared a climate-change state of emergency then done very little. The Environmental Health Department, who you’d think would be leading the nation with clever solutions, is, instead, in denial. The Building Department appears to encourage all kinds of wasteful practices as long as the end result meets national energy code. The mitigation officer, perhaps hobbled by policy, is often asleep-at-the-wheel.

Concerned citizens can find out who the architects, designers and contractors are and go online and give good reviews to efficient and quiet projects, bad reviews to those endless carbon-heavy ones.

People who are building can insist on fewer roof planes, fewer and simpler surface treatments, less underground area and a limited time frame for building.

Our government can insist on precast concrete panels for foundations, prefab insulated panels for floors, walls, and ceilings and institute more strict noise and parking policies.

Tim Murray