Going Beyond Code: A Workshop for Arizona Local Governments

October 29, 2008 - Tempe, AZ

Organized by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and cosponsored by Arizona State University, Global Institute of Sustainability


On October 29, 2008, SWEEP held a workshop for Arizona local governments on beyond code programs for new residential and commercial buildings. The workshop, co-sponsored by the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU, provided an opportunity for local government officials to learn about beyond code programs developed in Arizona and other Southwest states, identify best practices and lessons learned, and discuss strategies for implementing voluntary or mandatory programs that go well beyond minimum code requirements for new construction projects.

The workshop provided a forum for discussing past experience with green building programs, the status local, regional and national beyond code programs and standards, and emerging trends in local green building programs. Topics addressed included:

  • Current beyond code programs and green building initiatives in Arizona
  • Successful strategies for developing and implementing beyond code programs
  • Case studies of successful local programs in Arizona and other Southwest states
  • Technical assistance resources and programs available from utilities, state and local agencies, and educational and nonprofit organizations to support local government initiatives

The workshop featured presentations by local officials and individuals with expertise in developing and implementing a wide range of beyond code programs, including green building programs (based either on the USGBC LEED Rating System or locally developed programs), mandatory programs based on model codes, such as ASHRAE Standard 90.1, and incentive-based programs that offer financial support, recognition, or other assistance to builders that voluntarily choose to adopt more efficient and/or green building practices.

The participants discussed several issues and strategies for advancing beyond code programs, including:

  • Involving stakeholders in the development and implementation of beyond code programs
  • Developing beyond code measures and design practices specific to the Southwest (e.g., water conservation, exterior shading, and incorporating solar features into building design (passive and/or active)
  • Improving training for builders and code officials, and coordinating programs at the regional level (i.e., Phoenix Metro Area)
  • Employing decision support tools and measurement systems for establishing performance goals and measuring and reporting building performance to building operators, facility managers and policymakers
  • Establishing incentives and programs for achieving energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings
  • Developing consistent guidelines and standards for solar energy system installations

For additional information, please contact SWEEP at info@swenergy.org.