By Tom Blodgett | Daily Independent
The Scottsdale City Council voted Dec. 6 to adopt updates to its building and energy construction codes and to make mandatory a green construction code it also adopted for new building.
The council also included an amendment to require homebuilders to include in the infrastructure of new single-family residential homes the capability for the owner to easily add a fast electric vehicle charging outlet in the garage. That would be accomplished by putting in the conduit where an electrician could run the wiring and dedicating space in the electric box to accommodate the circuit.
However, the council declined to include an amendment to the green code that would allow builders to use R-38 insulation in the ceiling, which is the current standard, rather upgrading to R-49 in new single-family homes.
The moves came in a flurry of votes as council members maneuvered through which way to handle the code revisions. Ultimately, council voted 5-2 with Vice Mayor Tom Durham and Council Member Tammy Caputi dissenting to adopt the building and energy codes with the Scottsdale amendment for mandatory EC-charging capability, then 6-1 with Caputi dissenting to adopt the mandatory green construction code.
The building code comes from the 2021 edition of the International Residential Code; the energy code is taken from the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code; and the green construction code is from the edition of the International Green Construction Code. Council also voted to make all three of those public records.
Nine people spoke to the council from the public [including Scottsdale REALTORS® Director of Community & Government Affairs Suzanne Brown], most representing an association with an interest in the code. Seven generally were in support of the adoptions and two opposed.
Michael Clack, Scottsdale’s chief development officer, said the code adoptions would benefit the city by clarifying code provisions while protecting life and enhancing safety, improve community value and quality of life, protect natural resources and account for new technologies.
He also summarized the significant changes to the International Green Construction Code as lower “volatile organic compounds” — organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature — mitigating heat islands, providing for EV-ready charging infrastructure, helping construction waste management, use of low-impact building materials, better outdoor and indoor water efficiency, and for on-site photovoltaic solar abilities.
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