Guest Author: Krutarth Jain, President, AIA Cincinnati
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes historic funding levels - a total of $225 million – for building energy codes updates, adoption, and implementation. It will be available through the Department of Energy’s new Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation grant program, with the application process expected to open in fall 2022. The funding presents an opportunity for Green Umbrella and its members to make significant progress towards their sustainability and resilience goals, provided Region members are ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
In preparation for DOE’s funding, AIA Cincinnati is building relationships with key municipal officials and encouraging members to get involved in the development of the new Green Cincinnati plan. As subject-matter experts in the design/build environment, architects are uniquely positioned to help guide and shape projects like Green Cincinnati, and to partner with Cincinnati 2030 District members committed to developing sustainable buildings. Updated and enforced building energy codes are a necessary part of that sustainable development.
The current administration announced its National Initiative to Advance Building Codes in June, to help state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments develop resilient and sustainable communities in ways that lower energy costs and create jobs. According to a report from the National Institute of Building Sciences, resilience investments produce, on average, an ROI of $11 for every $1 spent, and the Department of Energy estimates that residential code updates pay for themselves in less than four years, while commercial buildings see a positive net return in the very first year.
The Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation program will provide competitive grants to state agencies and their partners that have demonstrated intent and capacity to advance their energy, climate, and resilience goals. Grant funding can be used for adoption and/or implementation of updated building energy codes; expanded workforce development opportunities; codes compliance; and advancement of equity, energy, and environmental justice.
The program is structured such that state government agencies must be the lead entities on grant applications. However, DOE strongly encourages agencies to form partnerships with organizations and other entities that provide expertise related to codes adoption and implementation. These potential partnerships represent a significant opportunity for members of both Green Umbrella and the Cincinnati 2030 District, and AIA Cincinnati is eager to partner with members at all phases of planning, application, and execution of DOE funding-related initiatives.
The Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation grants are potentially game-changing opportunities for cities and states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve resilience, and provide billions of dollars in energy savings for families and business owners. AIA Cincinnati stands ready to partner with Green Umbrella, Cincinnati 2030 District members, and similar entities in the important work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more resilient, sustainable, and equitable communities. Read the full Notice of Intent here.
More details on the Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation program are available here, and well as in AIA’s summary.
In May, AIA National hosted a webinar with the Department of Energy, to discuss the both the energy codes grants and other funding made available via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That webinar can be viewed here.