Article 7 Lighting and Thermal Standards

Article 7.  Lighting & Thermal Efficiency Standards


A.   This Article, sections 9-702 to 9-711 shall be known as the Minimum Lighting and Thermal Efficiency Standards for Buildings.  

B.  The City finds that there is a present and continuing need to provide for the development and implementation of minimum lighting and thermal efficiency standards for buildings to insure coordination with federal policy under the Energy Conservation Standards for New Buildings Act of 1976, to promote the conservation of our dwindling energy resources, and to provide for the public health, safety, and welfare.   

§9-702    TERMS; DEFINED.  As used in this Article, unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall apply:

PRIME CONTRACTOR shall mean the person, persons, entity or entities who has a contract with the owner and is the one responsible for the overall construction of any building or the installation of any component which affects the energy efficiency of the building.  Prime contractor shall also mean a property owner who performs the work of a prime contractor.  

ARCHITECT or ENGINEER shall mean any person registered pursuant to section 81-847, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943.  

BUILDING shall mean any structure which utilizes or will utilize a heating system, cooling system, or domestic hot water system, including new buildings, renovated buildings, and additions, but not including any structure which has a consumption of traditional energy sources for all purposes not exceeding the energy equivalent of one (1) watt per square foot.    

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING shall mean a building three (3) stories or less that is used primarily as one (1) or more dwelling units.

RENOVATION shall mean alterations on an existing building which will cost more than fifty (50%) percent of the replacement cost of such building at the time work is commenced or which was not previously heated or cooled, for which a heating or cooling system is now proposed, except that the restoration of historical buildings shall not be included.

ADDITION shall mean any construction added to an existing building which will increase the floor area of that building by five percent (5%) or more.

FLOOR AREA shall mean the total area of a building, expressed in square feet, which is within the exterior face of the shell of the structure which is heated or cooled.

STANDARD shall mean The Model Energy Code 1983 Edition of the Council of American Building Officials.

TRADITIONAL ENERGY SOURCES shall mean electricity, petroleum based fuels, uranium, coal, and all nonrenewable forms of energy.

§9-703    STANDARD; APPLICABILITY.  The standard shall apply to all new buildings, or renovations of or additions to any existing buildings, on which construction is initiated on or after the effective date of this section.

§9-704    EXEMPTIONS.  The following shall be exempt from this act:

1. Any building which has a peak design rate of  energy usage for all purposes of less than one (1) watt, or three and four-tenths (3.4) British Thermal Units per hour, per square foot of floor area.    

2. Any building which is neither heated nor cooled.

3. Any building or portion thereof which is owned by the United States of America. 

4.  Any mobile home as defined by section 71-4603, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943. 

5. Any manufactured housing unit as defined by subsection (1) of section 71-1557, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943. 

6. Any building (i) listed on the National Register of Historic Places, (ii) determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the State Historic Preservation Officer, or (iii) designated as an individual landmark or heritage preservation site by a Municipality or located within a designated landmark or heritage  preservation district. 

7. Any building to be renovated that is located within an area that has been designated blighted by a Municipality.

8. All residential buildings shall be exempt from lighting efficiency standards.

§9-705    COMPLIANCE; REQUEST FOR DETERMINATION OF COMPLIANCE; APPEAL.  For purposes of insuring compliance with the standard, the Chief Building Inspector may conduct such inspections and investigations as are necessary to make a determination of compliance and may issue an order containing and resulting from the findings of such inspections and investigations; and a building owner may request that the office undertake a determination pursuant to this section.  Such request shall include a list of reasons why the building owner believes such a determination is necessary.

A building owner aggrieved by the Chief Building Inspector's determination, or refusal to make such determination, may appeal such determination or refusal to the Governing Body.

The Chief Building Inspector may charge an amount sufficient to recover the costs of providing such determinations. 

Buildings constructed after the adoption of the standard, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

§9-706    INSPECTION; INVESTIGATIONS.  The Chief Building Inspector or any person designated by him or her shall conduct inspections and investigations necessary to enforce the standard and may, at reasonable hours, enter into any building and upon any premises within its jurisdiction for the purpose of examination to determine compliance with this Article.  Inspection shall be conducted only after permission has been granted by the owner or occupant or after a warrant has been issued pursuant to sections 29-830 to 29-835, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943.

During construction, the Chief Building Inspector or persons designated by him or her shall make periodic inspection to assure compliance with this Article.    

§9-707  BUILDING PLANS; SUBMISSION FOR APPROVAL.  Prior to the construction of, renovation of, or addition to any building covered by this Article, the prime contractor shall file sufficient plans and specifications with the Chief Building Inspector to enable him or her to make a determination whether such building will comply with the Standard.  Compliance with these standards shall be required before a building permit may be issued.  No construction, renovation or addition shall commence until a building permit is issued and displayed as required by this code. 

§9-708    FEES.  The person filing the application for permit shall, at the time of such filing, pay to the City, the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for residential buildings and one cent (1¢) per gross square foot for any other building.

§9-709    WHEN ARCHITECT OR ENGINEER IS RETAINED.  If an architect or engineer is retained, the architect or engineer shall place his or her state registration seal on all construction drawings which shall indicate that the design meets the standard.  The prime contractor shall build or cause to be built in accordance with the construction documents prepared by the architect or engineer.

§9-710    VIOLATION; ENFORCEMENT.  In addition to any penalty imposed under section 9-1001, the City may bring an action in the District Court enforce the provisions of this Article through equity and injunctive processes.   

§9-711    VALIDITY.  If any section in this Article or any part of any section shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional such declaration shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining portions thereof.