Adopting Specialized Opt-In Stretch Code for New Buildings and Substantial Renovations.

225 CMR 22: Massachusetts Stretch Code and Specialized Code for Low-Rise Residential

225 CMR 23: Massachusetts Stretch Code and Specialized Code for Commercial buildings

WHEREAS:In 1999 Cambridge joined the Cities for Climate Protection and for more than twenty years has consistently sought to be a leader in sustainability by launching many programs and initiatives to address the need to reduce emission pollution and do all it can to address the ongoing and increasingly dire threat of climate change; and
WHEREAS:In 2009, the Cambridge City Council voted to adopt the Stretch Energy Code in order to require greater energy efficiency than the mandatory statewide base code; and
WHEREAS:In March of 2021, Governor Baker signed the Climate Act of 2021, passed by the Massachusetts State Legislature after more than a year of public debate and advocacy and discussion, which, among other parts of the law, directed the State Department of Energy Resources to develop a net zero stretch code to update the current Stretch Energy Code for adoption by municipalities in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS:In 2019, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution urging the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulation and Standards to update the stretch code to require net zero building construction and enthusiastically supporting state legislation supporting a net zero energy stretch code; and
WHEREAS:The City’s 2015 Net Zero Action Plan, which included many public meetings of a large group of stakeholders, calls for the City to advocate for an updated stretch code in support of net-zero objectives; and
WHEREAS:The City’s 2021 Net Zero Action Plan Update specifically calls for the City to advocate for, adopt, and implement the Specialized Net-Zero Stretch Code as soon as available; and
WHEREAS:The 2021 Climate Crisis Working Group, after engaging in a robust public process, recommended adopting the net zero stretch code as a key action for the city to take as soon as possible, which was in the report adopted and approved unanimously by the Cambridge City Council on August 1, 2022; and
WHEREAS: The Net Zero Specialized Stretch Code has been under active public discussion since the passage of the 2021 Climate Act, with the City and the City Council and many residents advocating publicly for a stronger code, with hundreds of comments; and 
WHEREAS:The Health and Environment Committee held a public hearing on November 16, 2022 to investigate how and when the City can implement the Specialized Stretch Code in anticipation of state action; and
WHEREAS:After a drafting process which included a series of public hearings throughout the year, with hundreds of comments and several well attended public hearings, on December 23, 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources published the updated Stretch Code and new Specialized Opt in Code; now therefore be it
ORDERED:That the City Council go on record to adopt the Specialized Stretch Code, as outlined in 225 CMR 22.00 and 225 CMR 23.00, with an effective date of July 1, 2023; and be it further
ORDERED:That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work with the all relevant departments to ensure that all residents, organizations, and relevant entities are aware of the Specialized Code as soon as possible.