Stretch Code Development

Governor Raimondo's Executive Order 15-17 sets robust energy reduction targets and clean energy goals for State agencies consistent with her "Lead by Example" initiative (LBE EO) and broader policy goals that include clean energy industry and job growth; addressing the impacts of climate change; reducing public sector GHG emissions; and reducing public sector energy costs.

Specifically, the Governor required the Office of Energy Resources (OER), working in collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council (EERMC), National Grid, and the Green Building Advisory Committee (GBAC) to establish a voluntary aspirational or stretch building code based on the International Green Construction Code or equivalent. All stretch building codes were made publicly available in February 2018 for use in all State construction and renovation projects as well as those in the private sector. Final Stretch Code documents can be viewed on OER’s Stretch Code webpage.

Stretch Code Development Process

In March 2016, OER organized a stretch code development kick-off meeting. During this meeting, a monthly meeting schedule was created and an overall work plan was developed. Members of the stretch code development team include representatives from OER, EERMC, National Grid, GBAC, the Rhode Island Code Commission, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), and other subject matter experts.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, the stretch code development team took the following steps to draft the Commercial and Residential Stretch Codes:

  1. Reviewed existing model stretch codes, applicable high-performance building programs, and Rhode Island’s amended 2012 Green Construction Code and Rhode Island’s Green Buildings Act requirements (RIGL § 37-24).
  2. Researched near-future base code developments.
  3. Selected an existing code and an existing high-performance building program as the basis for Rhode Island’s Commercial and Residential Stretch Codes, respectively. The International Green Construction Code (IGCC) was selected as the basis for the Commercial Stretch Code and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) program was selected as the basis for the Residential Stretch Code.
  4. With stakeholder input, the team reviewed the 2015 IGCC and the 2016-2017 ZERH program requirements and modified them for Rhode Island. Throughout the modification process, the team worked closely with key stakeholders to align requirements with existing, Rhode Island energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
  5. After multiple document iterations, OER held public meetings where the draft documents were presented. Month-long public comment periods were also held for both documents.
  6. After reviewing and responding to all public comments, OER worked with the development team to produce final drafts of the Residential and Commercial Stretch Codes.

If you have any questions on this process, please contact Becca Trietch at Becca.trietch@energy.ri.gov or 401-574-9106.

Public Comment & Public Meeting Materials


For the Residential Stretch Code:

A Public Meeting on the 2017 residential stretch code document was held at 5 pm ET on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at the Department of Administration, One Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02908. Below are the meeting minutes and PowerPoint presentation. These meeting materials are also available on the Secretary of State’s website.

Residential Stretch Code Public Meeting: Meeting Minutes
Residential Stretch Code Public Meeting: PowerPoint Presentation

A month long public comment process on the proposed residential stretch code documents ended at 5pm ET on Friday, December 22, 2017. OER reviewed all submitted public comments and adjusted the proposed documents as described in the response to public comments below. Final Residential Stretch Code documents can be viewed on OER’s Stretch Code webpage.

OER’s Response to Public Comments: RI Residential Stretch Code Documents

For the Commercial Stretch Code:

A Public Meeting on the 2017 commercial stretch code document was held at 5 pm ET on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at the Department of Administration, One Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02908. Below are the meeting minutes and PowerPoint presentation. These meeting materials are also available on the Secretary of State’s website.

Commercial Stretch Code Public Meeting: Meeting Minutes
Commercial Stretch Code Public Meeting: PowerPoint Presentation

A month long public comment process on the proposed commercial stretch code ended at 5pm ET on Wednesday, December 27, 2017. OER reviewed all submitted public comments and adjusted the proposed commercial stretch code as described in the response to public comments below. The final Commercial Stretch Code can be viewed on OER’s Stretch Code webpage.

OER’s Response to Public Comments: RI Commercial Stretch Code

What is a Stretch Code?

A stretch code is a building code or compliance pathway that is more aggressive than base code. Also known as "reach codes", stretch codes can be either voluntary or mandatory. Their main purpose is to help buildings achieve higher energy savings and implement advanced building practices.