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Inflation Reduction Act Funds Building Efficiency, Sustainable Construction

Funds will help update energy codes, promote low-carbon construction materials, and encourage energy-efficient retrofits and distributed energy generation.   August 31, 2022


By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor 


The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in August, contains the largest-ever investment in building efficiency, sustainable construction and distributed generation, according to the International Code Council. The resources will help facilities and communities update their energy codes, promote low-carbon construction materials, and encourage energy-efficient retrofits and distributed energy generation, including solar thermal and small-scale wind. 

The Inflation Reduction Act provides $1 billion to support jurisdictions seeking to adopt, update and improve the implementation of energy codes. More specifically, the legislation supports codes and standards or local amendments that meet or exceed the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and zero-energy building codes. 

The act makes further historic investments in sustainable construction, including $250 million through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for work toward enhanced standardization for low-embodied carbon construction materials through environmental product declarations (EPDs), as well as assistance for the manufacturing industry to more widely use and validate EPDs. 

The EPA will receive an additional $100 million to work with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and General Services Administration (GSA) on expanded labeling with EPDs for low-carbon construction materials used in building and infrastructure projects. The GSA, DOT and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be provided with roughly $4.2 billion in funding to incentivize low-carbon material use in federally funded projects. 

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