New energy codes leave home builders in the dark

This story came out of a local home builder’s complaint. He was speaking with my editor about doing a letter on this subject, but I decided that it would make a pretty good story. I’m pleased with the result.

Zinn Construction, a custom home building company based in Sherman, builds eight to ten homes per year, along with a few remodeling projects. But new energy efficiency codes, approved by the state last August, are causing confusion for owner Phil Zinn and his fellow home builders.

Illinois enacted new building codes that require well-insulated basements, thicker walls and energy-saving windows, but the city has yet to enforce them, says Zinn, a member of the Springfield Area Home Builders Association.

Though the codes were officially signed into law last August, Springfield’s city council will not vote on an ordinance that officially adopts the code until April. This time delay means many home builders are not sure whether they’re required to follow the code now, Zinn says. Some could choose to simply ignore the codes for the time being, as the gap between state establishment and local enforcement means there are no current consequences for doing so.

Click here for the full story.

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