We are a group of Madison County citizens who want to preserve the high quality of life in the county through improvement and preservation of its natural resources. We have built and live in homes within eco-communities that, through the use of technology and sharing of resources, markedly conserve energy, water and building materials. The homes and small communities also were carefully planned and constructed to prevent soil erosion, to protect watersheds and to preserve natural habitats. We have been working with Duane Curry,the Planning and Zoning board and the county health department for the past several years to assure that the new technologies we are instituting are of the highest quality to protect the health and safety of our homes and of our neighbors in the county.
We have established our communities as teaching centers to share the knowledge we have gained with college students, home builders and others who are interested in green technologies. Some of the technologies that we used were the first in the county and are guided by strict experimental guidelines. Other innovations have been sidelined because of the lack of legal structures that will assure that the work is done to the highest standards.
We would like to make it possible for us and others in Madison County to implement some of these newer land, water and energy conservation strategies by establishing residential green building codes. These will create standards that will give direction to those interested in sustainable home building and to protect the county from those who may take advantage of the increasingly popular “green building” designation. Also within these codes, we’d like to include experimental building guidelines to make it possible for builders to test and research sustainable technologies appropriate for our region.
Currently, Madison County follows the International Codes Council (I.C.C.) residential building codes. In 2010, the I.C.C. in cooperation with the National Home Builders Association (N.A.H.B.) published green building code standards that communities throughout the country have adopted. We believe that Madison County can join the ranks of Santa Monica, California, Austin, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico and be the first community in Kentucky to adopt residential green building codes. The 2010 Madison County Comprehensive Plan reflects the county’s readiness to adopt green building codes. Under “Goal 4: Housing” it states that this plan will “encourage “Green Building” for better conservation and utilization of energy”. The plan also states that the county will “continue to review and revise development ordinances and codes in keeping with national and state standards”. Adopting the N.A.H.B.’s Green Building Standards is the natural, next step.