Letter: Write energy efficiency into building codes | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Write energy efficiency into building codes

Using the old cliche, let’s kill two birds (or more) with one stone. Pitkin County is a unique place in the world for many reasons. One of those is that money has few limits when it comes to the construction of new homes. It’s not a novel idea, but I’d like to second the motion that strict energy-efficiency codes be imposed on new homes and remodels. A rating system similar to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design would hold owners, contractors and developers to stringent environmental standards.

In another era, it might feel like local government overstepping boundaries. However, with the predicaments and goals on the county and city’s plate, it feels like a suitable solution. If homes were required to generate, say, 80 percent of their own energy usage, a few things might happen:

• Those seemingly unlimited funds would become a force for energy innovation and efficient construction.

• Disputes over the sizes of building sites would be quelled temporarily.

• The Canary Initiative would easily meet more of its energy- and carbon-reduction goals.

• Traffic in Aspen would decrease, as materials to build these homes are smarter and more sustainable and the homes themselves are smaller.