October 2017: Please note that the information below refers to the stretch code in 2011, at the time Needham was considering becoming a Green Community. We have reached out to the DoER Green Communities Division for updated information. DoER is working with the MA Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS is the agency that sets building code standards for the Commonwealth) to provide updated information on in a consumer-friendly form.

Until that becomes available, the formal notification of the building code changes adopted in July 2016 by the BBRS is available here.

The stretch code recognizes that achieving whole-house energy savings would be difficult for this type of project.  So the code provides a prescriptive option for these projects which applies only to the systems and parts of the home affected by the project.  The goal is to ensure that the homeowner is getting the full benefit of the current energy code.  It has three requirements.

  1. Completion of a one-page thermal bypass checklist.  The checklist verifies that a visual inspection of framing areas and insulation has been done.
  2. New windows, doors or skylights that are installed must be Energy Star v5.0 compliant (u rating of .30 or better for windows, .55 for skylights and .21-.32 for doors, depending on the amount of glass they contain).
  3. Newly installed ducts passing through unconditioned space must be tested for leakage.

For alterations, renovations or repairs, these requirements apply only if the work involves the building envelope (exterior walls and roof). For such projects, the requirements apply only to the affected portion of the building envelope.


How would the stretch code affect a current homeowner doing a renovation, remodeling or an addition to their home?

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