Twin Cities builders continue their fight against new rules they say add unnecessary costs to new houses. LaTthe Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) has filed a Petition with the Minnesota Court of Appeals challenging the Department of Labor and Industry’s (DLI) amendments to the state's International Residential Code (IRC) and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

BATC also requested a stay of enforcement of the rule pending a ruling on its main petition.

Shawn Nelson, a former BATC executive and president of New Spaces, said the new rules are "the largest regulatory tax on home buyers in Minnesota history," and creates a financial burden that exceeds the value of the changes.

The suits follow several years of rule-making that concluded with an agreement between BATC and the DLI on most changes. For the energy code, rather than "prescriptive standards" that are more expensive, BATC advocated for more flexible performance-based rules that the group says would be less expensive and just as effective. BATC was opposed to a sprinkler requirement, which the group says is unnecessary and expensive.  BATC estimates that the codes will add $6,000 to $10,000 to the cost of the average newly built home and almost $20,000 for a 4,500 square-foot (including the basement) home

The IRC and IECC updates are part of a routine code update. The building code was set to be implemented on January 24th and the energy code on February 14th.

What's next? The state is expected to respond within the next few weeks.

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