Energy code compliance workshops offered Minnesota residents the opportunity to both learn and discuss.

Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy.

In June, the Minnesota Energy Code Compliance Collaborative held two workshops focusing on the new Minnesota homes with remarkable attendance. These workshops offer builders, contractors, code officials, state agencies, energy raters and companies and energy advocates an opportunity to discuss the new energy code adopted last year and learn how it can be better implemented. The workshops were held in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.

The Minnesota Codes Compliance Collaborative was founded in 2014—following several states, including Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania—to help stakeholders transition to the new energy code and to find ways to overcome obstacles. Essentially, better buildings are less expensive to operate and much more resilient over time, and the Collaborative aims to move Minnesota in that direction.

Rather than offering simple top-down training, these workshops are designed to give all parties a chance learn and talk about the code based on a mix of technical and logistical topics. In total, the two recent workshops attracted over 120 attendees focused on everything from how the code is enforced to more technical topics such as blower door testing, duct work, insulating to code, ERV/HRVs and high-performance homes.

Each day ended with an “Ask a Code Official” Forum, allowing builders and contractors the chance to ask specific coding questions. Videos from these workshops will soon be available on the Minnesota Energy Code Collaborative Compliance website. The collaborative will also offer additional educational seminars in the future.

Ultimately, the collaborative is an excellent venue for evaluating current implementation strategies and developing innovative compliance strategies to ensure more buildings are energy-efficient, healthy and comfortable for all.