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Are You Ready for Green Technology?

September 26th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

There was an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune about the difficulties homeowners and businesses encounter with local jurisdictions when they want to use green technology, such as installing solar panels.  Many jurisdictions are not prepared to address those requests because their codes have not kept up with the technology or inspectors don’t have the  experience to do inspections in this area.  Owners complain about increased costs because of the care local jurisdictions are taking before these installations are approved (e.g. hiring an engineer).  Eventually as this type of innovation becomes more mainstream, these problems should decrease.  You can find the story at http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/ct-mre-0926-solar-energy-hurdles-20100924,0,6693743.story

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  1. Jerry
    September 27th, 2010 at 14:50 | #1

    I think most municipalities are waiting for the International Green Construction Code to go online. The problem is that while the first public version is out for comments. The final version, the one the municipalities will adopt, is not due out for publication until early 2012. However, Chapter 23 of IRC 2009 covers solar panels as does Article 690 of the NEC 2008.

    I can understand the Thompson’s family not wanting to pay for the service of a structural engineer, especially in this economy, but I don’t see a way to avoid it. Calculating such loads falls to registered design professionals. The International Green Construction Code that is currently under review also required design professional when calculating structural loads:
    Sec. 611.2.1.2 Structural Requirements. Engineering calculation and details demonstrating adequacy of supporting members, including wind uplift effects, shall be provided by the registered design professional.
    It’s worth noting that this language is not part of the final product for the new green code and is subject to change.

  2. Linda Pieczynski
    September 27th, 2010 at 18:31 | #2

    Thanks for your input, Jerry. This is valuable information.

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