Building Codes have manifold benefits for unions and workers
Strong building codes require quality craftsmanship and labor: They create demand for new, well-paying jobs including electricians, plumbers, contractors, duct and building professionals, energy auditors, and compliance officers. Investing in energy efficiency creates green jobs and supports economic development. Money not spent on energy bills boost the economy as consumers and businesses can reinvest in other goods and services. In addition, building homes to code strengthen investment in efficient materials and requires quality craftsmanship and labor, which increases overall job growth. The market shift toward more energy-efficient homes will save consumers more than $100 billion by 2030 and reduce U.S. carbon emissions. Some of this saved money will go towards workers who focus on high quality building.
Job Creation: Effective compliance and enforcement programs require a significant investment of time, resources, and labor power, while the market for energy audits, retrofits, and weatherization continues to grow. In short, investing in our buildings and energy efficiency creates jobs and supports economic development.
Fewer Barriers to Building: Adoption of the IBC would reduce the cost of developing residential, commercial and institutional buildings. Developers and design professionals currently find it necessary to spend time, money and resources trying to understand the many nuances that exist in the current building code and altering design to fit them. If Building Codes were standardized across regions, workers could work more efficiently and the money that goes into analyzing diverse building codes could go into more construction. Adoption of the IBC would provide building owners, developers, design professionals one set of codes without regional limitations or jurisdictional conflicts. They could do business on a larger scale. More standardization across codes could lead to economies of scale, which will reduce the cost of construction.
Unions and Workers can Help Consumers understand the Investment in Energy Efficient Buildings: Consumers are willing to pay 2-3% more for an energy efficient house but they expect a simple payback of 7 years. This displays customer support for buildings that are at or above code. A study in Idaho found that the payback period on 2012 IECC codes over 2009 codes was just 22-25 months.
Standardization Improves Margins: When Building Codes are standard, designers and builders have to spend less time ensuring that a design meets local code. Adoption of standard building codes on a normal cycle reduces the burden of building codes and promotes operational efficiency. Additionally, federal, state and local tax credits or incentives may be available to support energy efficient design and standardization will allow project managers to ensure that these are passed to the appropriate stakeholders.
Efficiency Benefits Broader Society: Efficient buildings contribute to a healthier, wealthier broader society by mitigating emissions of greenhouse gasses that lead to climate change and lowering electricity demand.
Everyone deserves to be safe. You can work to ensure that your government representatives take this seriously by taking action!