The favorite dance step of the code dinosaurs continues. Typically, that involves the building industry taking one step forward and two steps back in response to any policy or regulation intended to improve performance and promote sustainability in the built environment. Some have practically taken it to an art form.
Case in point, the NAHB recognized the Pennsylvania Builders Association by awarding their organization their “Best Government Affairs Effort Regionally,” along with the highly coveted “Best PR Program Conducted” after the state association successfully dismantled regulations requiring fire sprinklers—then went even further, getting legislation passed that effectively brought the code adoption process in Pennsylvania to a halt, according to some observers.
The consensus is that the industry groups have, for all practical purposes, hijacked the review process in the state.
All of this has happened against the backdrop of news reports focusing on rising sea levels, record shattering heat across much of the nation, massive power outages for millions of customers following violent storm events and unprecedented destruction from wildfires in several states in the Rockies.
But Pennsylvania is not alone. The people of Alabama launched their own preemptive strike against green building, by enacting a new law that would essentially give them veto power over any proposed sustainable development in their state.
It seems that while they may have little specifically against “breathable air, drinkable water and livable climate” they have covered their bets by making sure they can’t be forced into planning for any of those. The driving force behind the action was growing apprehension over the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, also known as Agenda 21, which Alabamans determined to be nothing more than a plot by the United Nations to take away their freedoms. That Declaration, incidentally, turned out to be a toothless dud. It seems that life in the codes arena remains, as always, stranger than fiction.
Posted: 10/10/2012 8:06:15 PM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments