Proposal To Make Homes In Austin Solar-Ready Prompts Plumbing Code Debate

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The Austin Homebuilders Association expressed concerns over increased costs

February 15, 2017

State capitol building in Austin, Texas. Photo: Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons

An Austin, Texas city council member is proposing an ordinance to make more of the city’s homes solar-ready. That plan involves leaving roof space on new construction without the pipes and vents that prevent solar panels from being installed.

The proposal prompted concerns over the possibility of increased costs from the Austin Homebuilders Association. The association agreed to support the measure if city council considered a separate item to changing Austin’s plumbing code from the Uniform Plumbing Code to the International Plumbing Code. The latter would make it more cost effective to build solar-ready homes, proponents say.

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