Stretch Energy Codes

As part of the Green Communities Act of 2008, Massachusetts is required to update its building code every three years to be consistent with the most recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This ensures that new buildings are designed and constructed with energy efficiency in mind.

In 2009, Massachusetts became the first state to adopt an above-code appendix to the "base" building energy code-the "Stretch Code". The Stretch Code, which emphasizes energy performance, as opposed to prescriptive requirements, is designed to result in cost-effective construction that is more energy efficient than that built to the "base" energy code. The Stretch Code is typically updated every few years, with the most recent update having taken effect in 2023.

Milton adopted the Stretch Energy Code in 2011 when we became a Green Community, and the most recent update to that code has notably expanded its application to include major additions and renovations (typically those over 1,000 square feet) instead of being limited to new construction. The Specialized Code applies only to new construction. On January 23, 2024, the Milton Select Board voted to add an article to the Annual Town Meeting Warrant that proposes adopting the Specialized Code in Milton.

Code Application for Different Building Types

code application table

Stretch & Specialized Code Resources

ResourceDescription
MA State Website on Building Energy CodesWebpage managed by the MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) with details on the State's process and procedures for the development of the Base, Stretch, and Specialized Codes.
Specialized Code Presentation to Warrant CommitteePresentation on the Specialized Code developed by Sustainable Milton for the Warrant Committee's February 26, 2024 meeting.
Planning & Inspectional Services Presentation on Specialized CodePresentation developed by the Planning & Inspectional Services Departments on the Specialized Code. Presented to the Select Board on January 23, 2024, and the Planning Board on February 8, 2024.
Sustainable Milton Presentation on Specialized CodePresentation on the Specialized Code developed by Sustainable Milton for the Climate Action Planning Committee's January 18, 2024 meeting.
Regulation 225 CMR 22.00Massachusetts Stretch Code and Specialized Code for Low-Rise Residential – 2023 Residential Low-Rise Amendments to IECC2021 and IRC 2021 Chapter 11: Energy Efficiency
Regulation 225 CMR 23.00Massachusetts Front-End Amendments to the International Energy Conservation Code 2021 Massachusetts Stretch Energy Code – 2023 Commercial Amendments to IECC 2021
Economic Analysis of Costs and Savings for Development under the Stretch Code
Third-party economic analysis of the costs and benefits to both homebuilders and homebuyers under the Stretch Code's new requirements.
Stretch Code FAQsAnswers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Building Energy Codes developed by DOER 
Municipal Resource Library from Acton, Arlington, and LexingtonWebsite developed in partnership with Acton, Arlington, and Lexington to provide permit-seekers, members of the development community, and the general public with information on the Municipal Opt-In Specialized Stretch Energy Code, the Municipal Fossil Fuel Free (FFF) Building Demonstration Program, and available rebates and incentives.