The Next Generation of Building Codes

As part of the Next Generation Roadmap Bill (2021), the state was required to develop a “net zero stretch code” for municipalities to opt-into. The Department of Energy Resources is the state agency charged with developing this code.

DOER was charged to develop a municipal opt-in specialized stretch energy code that includes:

  • net-zero building performance standards
  • a definition of net-zero building
  • designed to achieve MA GHG emission limits and sub-limits.
  • may by phased in by building type
  • 50% emission reduction in 2030 (sub-limits to be established for buildings sector)

Updated Stretch Code

The new Stretch Code automatically applies to all existing Stretch Code communities. In it, Passive House is now a pathway for multifamily, schools, and offices and an alternative to the TEDI or HERS pathways, while residential buildings must meet Passive House certification or achieve HERS 42 (or 45 if all-electric).

Specialized Opt-in Code

The new Specialized Opt-In Code is now available for municipalities to adopt and will go in to effect in those towns approximately six months after adoption.

This code will require Passive House certification for all large multifamily buildings over 12,000 square feet while including it as a pathway for all other types.

Specialized Opt-In Code – Municipality Adoption (as of July, 2023)

Effective Date – July 1st, 2023

  • Brookline, Watertown, Somerville, Cambridge

Effective Date – January 1st, 2024

  • Acton, Aquinnah, Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Maynard, Newton, Sherborn, Somerville, Stow, Truro, Watertown, Wellesley, Wellfleet

    Read more about Boston’s code adoption here


Residential Opt-in Code

Multifamily Opt-in Code