Needed Changes in the Residential Planning and Building Codes of the USA

Today we must take a position to stop using fossil fuel and promote and require all new or major remodeling residential projects incorporate renewable forms of energy. This will be the starting point to become more self sufficient and less dependent on OPEC, etc. There will be much resistance by the oil companies, utility and others whom base their sales on the oil refineries and down stream products but, we must prevail. Small steps in the beginning and then giant leaps as we reinvent energy and refine the way it is used int the future.

To begin the house design and energy consumption has been quack-mired in the hands of a planning community that values appearances over substance.That has to stop so we can proceed with what’s best for the earth and fellow men. It looks like it does not solve this problem as Architect Louis Sullivan once said “form follows function”. The state and local Planning and Building community has to redefine “Earth Design” and go beyond the status quo.

The following are some suggestions that start us down the road to earth design and self reliance.

  1. Every new residence on a standard lot is required to plant a minimun of two 24″ box size trees for every person living in the house plus 2 for 1 ratio of any removed trees. The trees will provide shade reducing a/c loads and help to reduce CO2. Species will depend on location, climate and soil conditions. Large lots with plenty of trees will have to meet the shading and removal requirements.
  2. All new subdivisions will have to provide a wind turbine electrical generating system between abutting lots with an easement. These turbines will be inter connected so everyone in the subdivisions area can share the energy .They are over 25′ tall and have been rejected by many planning departments but that must stop. Camouflaging is somewhat possible and must be acceptable. This would greatly cut down on the use of fossil fuel and help reduce the pollutants and CO2 omissions. All single lots not in a subdivision would have to have a wind turbine electrical generating system that could be shared by others.
  3. All rain water would be collected and stored for irrigating plants and creating reservoirs for fire fighting and landscaping ponds and potential water supply for certain black water plumbing applications.
  4. Gray waste water from sinks, showers, and washers would be collected and stored for landscaping irrigation. This would reduce the waste treatment processing saving fossil produced electricity, co2 omission and infra structure improvements.

There are several more improvements that can be made. If we only see how this would help the next generations, things will get better. Civilization is good for everyone but we also have to protect the environment as we improve our home and our lives.


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