New restrictions on residential construction in Ketchum, Idaho have been approved to make the city a greener place, according to the Idaho Mountain Express.
The city will now follow the National Green Building Standard, developed by the National Association of Home Builders and the International Code Council, with minor amendments.
The new green building code requires residential structures to have a certain number of energy-efficient and sustainable features. Builders and architects may get to that number by a prescriptive path or through a performance path, which allows them more creativity as long as the structure passes certain tests.
The Ketchum city council identified a green building code as a priority during a goal-setting retreat two years ago, and the mayor created a project team to study existing green building codes, conduct outreach and write a draft code.
The city also believes energy-efficient buildings will be a good return on investment for owners.
"They're perceived as being more valuable," said Associate Planner Rebecca Bundy. "They're selling quicker. They're selling for more. It's really consumer driven."
She said many local builders and architects already are constructing green buildings, but the code serves as an educational tool and gets them "to stretch a little further."
The city later will undertake a green building code for commercial construction.