Update to the Massachusetts State Building Code - Effective July 1, 2010

Please note that July 1st is the effective date of the change for the Massachusetts Building Energy Code to the International Energy Conservation Code 2009 with front end amendments (IECC 2009).

For commercial buildings, from July 1, 2010 onwards, there remain two options for code compliance:

  • The IECC 2009 chapter 5
  • The ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007

A significant note here is that it is no longer possible to combine these two compliance paths. Previously it was possible and commonplace to follow the ASHRAE standard for lighting and the IECC for other energy systems. With the advent of IECC 2009 design teams must follow one compliance path or the other in its entirety.

Therefore, based on the most recent GHG policy (dated May 5, 2010), projects that file ENFs after July 1, 2010, must use the updated State building code as the specified baseline for buildings. Subsequent ENF Certificates will reference the currently-in-force building code version to ensure it’s clear which version should be modeled in EIRs and affirm that this is the baseline code for the project for the entire life of the project (even if the State Building Code is updated during the pendency of the project), unless significant delays occur.

Guidance for GHG Emissions Calculations for Water and Wastewater Treatment

As outlined in the current GHG Policy, projects that will consume greater than 300,000 gallons per day (gpd) of water or wastewater may be required, on a case-by-case basis, to model GHG emissions associated with energy usage for water or wastewater treatment. Based upon current data supplied by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), project Proponents may use the following averages to estimate energy usage associated with water or wastewater treatment for the purposes of completing their GHG analysis. For projects located within Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) communities:

  • Wastewater Treatment average energy cost = 1.3kWh/1,000 gallons treated
  • Water Treatment average energy cost = 0.2 kWh/1,000 gallons treated

For projects located outside MWRA communities:

  • Wastewater Treatment average energy cost = 1.7 kWh/1,000 gallons treated
  • Water Treatment average energy cost = 1.1 kWh/1,000 gallons treated

Additionally, at the Proponent’s discretion (and if applicable), the GHG analysis may use actual data from project community treatment plants in lieu of MassDEP’s average data, so long as supporting documentation is included in the MEPA filing.

MAY 5, 2010: Final Revised Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policy and Protocol

Based upon the input provided by stakeholders and taking into account the changes to MEPA’s enabling statute under the Global Warming Solutions Act, the MEPA Office has issued final revisions to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policy and Protocol pdf format of Greehouse Gas Emissions Policy and Protocol to clarify the requirements for review and analysis of GHG emissions and to fulfill MEPA’s statutory obligations.

Also available is a summary of the revisions pdf format of Summary of MEPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions and a response to comments pdf format of Response to Comments on Draft Revised Greenhouse Gas received on the draft revisions, which were made available for public review.

The revised GHG Policy and Protocol is effective as of May 5, 2010.

Distribution Requirements for Projects Subject to the GHG Emissions Policy

For projects that are subject to the GHG Emissions Policy, in addition to filing and circulation requirements as noted at 301 CMR 11.16, copies of all MEPA submissions should be sent to:

Department of Environmental Protection
Attention: Nancy Seidman
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02114

Department of Energy Resources
Attention: John Ballam
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020
Boston, MA 02114

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policy and Protocol Information Resources

The MEPA Office is pleased to provide an on-line resources that provides information on several projects that have been reviewed under the MEPA Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Policy and Protocol. For each of the projects, the file includes the MEPA Certificates, relevant comment letters and supporting GHG analysis and supplemental materials provided in MEPA filings. It includes a range of project types (e.g. retail, mixed use, redevelopment, residential) and projects at different points in the review process, including several which have completed MEPA review. This file will be updated periodically to include recently reviewed projects.