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The New Washington State Building Energy Codes

Beginning February 1st, 2021, all new residential construction will be required to follow a new set of rules, as per the Washington State Energy Code. The goal of the updated code is to ensure that residential buildings are as energy efficient as possible, promoting green energy and eliminating excess energy usage.

The code primarily addresses insulation, air leakage and electric energy usage. Buildings will be required to have thicker insulation in walls, floors, ceilings, crawl spaces, attics and roofs, as well as insulation around water pipes, air ducts and water heaters. To combat additional air leakage, all doors, windows, skylights and recessed lighting will have additional requirements on frames and seals. Thermostats and pool heaters must be rated Energy Star efficient, and must be able to follow a programmed schedule.

So what does this mean for you? If you have an existing home, you don’t need to worry about complying to these new standards until you choose to make repairs or upgrades. Any repairs or upgrades must follow the new energy code standards, meaning that if you replace your thermostat, install new windows or build an addition to your home, you’ll have to ensure it meets the code. As for new construction, expect prices of residential construction to increase not insignificantly. If you are on the fence about purchasing a home to be built or under construction, you’ll save a large sum if you do so before next February.

Want to explore purchasing new construction? Our team is experienced and ready to help you, and we have several builders ready to go. Contact us today!

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