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Energy Efficiency Changes Proposed for Utah Building Code

Dan Bammes

The Utah legislature will be looking at changes to the state's building code to make homes and businesses much more energy efficient.  Garbett Homes’ Terra Sol development in South Salt Lake meets and even exceeds the new 2012 building code standard.  The recommendation from the state’s Uniform Building Code Commission requires making homes much more airtight.  Energy inspector Steven Thon showed reporters how it’s done with foam sealing the top of exterior walls.

"Most of the air leakage," he said, pointing to foam sealant on the wall studs, "if you seal up there, you don’t have to worry about the rest of it as much.  It’s all in the top."

The Utah legislature voted down an update to the code in its last session, but Kevin Emerson with Utah Clean Energy is optimistic it’ll happen this time.

"We’re not gonna get the full 2012 energy code," Emerson says, "and we’re not gonna get the full newest  energy code.  But we’re gonna get some of the best parts."

Garbett has already sold all 60 homes in the development.  It says customers are paying about the same price as they would for similar new homes in the same neighborhood.

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