Yes, we need to update our building codes
To the editor:
I’ve just finished reading Bob Sanders’ very good and detailed piece on New Hampshire’s outdated building codes. The article correctly notes that making buildings tighter and better insulated adds a few dollars to the initial cost but pays back in a very few (three to four) years.
Since this perspective has opponents, it’s worth mentioning that the payback comes in the form of lowering heating and cooling bills, not just for the life of the mortgage, but the life of the building.
Critics who express concern about affordable housing should note that it’s folks who need affordable housing who also struggle with the costs of heating and cooling. Taking this a little further, energy-efficient buildings are the foundation that will allow a transition to increased use of renewable energy and slow the path of climate change. Even the proponents of fixing building codes don’t like to highlight that, for fear of opening a can of worms, but it’s getting a little late for nuance. That wolf is at the door.