Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hailey’s green building code likely to include remodels

Mayor appointed to airport board

Express Staff Writer

Hailey’s voluntary Build Better Program, set to become mandatory on May 1, now is expected to cover alterations and additions as well as new construction. The program calls for at least a 10 percent improvement in energy efficiency above the 2009 International Building Code requirements.

The City Council voted last month to make the program mandatory only for new construction, since remodels on older homes in south Hailey could be too costly under the new requirements. Councilman Pat Cooley said 2-by-4 walls would have to be enlarged to 2-by-6 walls in many Woodside subdivision homes to meet the new energy efficiency requirements.

Hailey Sustainability Coordinator Mariel Platt persuaded the council Monday to consider including alterations and additions in the program, saying the new code need not require that contractors replace 2-by-4 walls with 2-by-6 walls.

“There are a number of products on the market and construction practices that would allow projects to comply with the code given unique scenarios,” Platt said. 

Platt said using closed-cell foam insulation in 2-by-4 walls could bring the walls up to an R-19 insulation factor, enough to satisfy the Hailey building department.

The Build Better Program would be triggered only if window openings or walls are added to a building, and only go into effect if the project requires a building permit, changes the building envelop and is not listed as an exemption.

Exemptions include re-roofing and internal remodels.

Platt said in an interview that she would prepare a draft ordinance, to be presented to the council for consideration, that allows for “more flexibility” for contractors during complicated remodels and additions.

“There could be some cases when you can’t get to 10 percent [above code],” Platt said.

Alterations and additions would not require an energy audit, which can cost about $450, under the proposed new law.

“We don’t want to keep people from making improvements to their buildings. Platt said. “The new language will allow them to comply with the new code when faced with complex or unique alterations and additions.”

Platt said about 75 percent of Hailey buildings were built before energy codes were first introduced in the early 1990s.

In other Hailey news:

  • Mayor Fritz Haemmerle was appointed to the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority board, replacing Martha Burke.
  • The City Council vote to rename the Hailey rodeo grounds “Werthhiemer Park.”
  • Linda Packer was reappointed to the Hailey Arts Commission.
  • Janet Fugate was reappointed to the Hailey Parks and Lands board.

Tony Evans:


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