Posted on July 19, 2012 by Mike Means

By Kelly Parker,

President/Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems

The 2012 Green Summit is all about education. Oklahoma's new Residential Building Code, enacted exactly a year ago, and is something we all need to be proactive in learning about. The Summit is a great, cost-effective place to begin.

If you're a builder, you need to be there, plain and simple.

This year's Oklahoma Green Building Summit on Sept. 27 has three distinct, industry-specific tracks designed for:

Commercial Buildings/Professionals

Builders/Code Enforcement


This is a more targeted approach than we've taken before, which will make the Summit even more valuable to attendees. Learn more about the entire Summit at

I'd like to speak specifically to home builders today - many of you have been in business for decades, and some of you are just starting out. The new Residential Building Code affects us all equally, and we've got to be aggressive in learning about it.

We're currently working with a client in rural Oklahoma whose builder unfortunately had not familiarized himself with the new Code. The client wanted to be sure everything was being done properly and called us in. Upon inspection, we found that the foundation was only poured 12 inches deep below ground, not the new, Code-required 18 inches deep.

This is a perfect example of a situation we would all prefer to avoid!

Those who embrace the new Code and choose to educate themselves will find the results are extremely positive. Oklahoma homes will be built with energy efficiency in mind and will save our clients' money with lower utility bills and better-built homes.

Part of my personal mission is to help educate as many Oklahoma builders as I can about the new code and how it will change the way we do business for the better. And frankly, those who opt not to embrace this change may find themselves reaping expensive repercussions, as with the folks in Lindsay.

The Code is the end result of a thorough, inclusive process that began in 2006 when Oklahoma received stimulus funding earmarked to generate activity in the new home building sector. It was required that states receiving the funds create and adopt a "green" building code, and that, moving forward, new construction should be more efficient.

It may surprise many of you to learn that Oklahoma had NO statewide building code at all, so that's where we started. A dozen people were assigned to the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission, tasked with creating the code, including OSHBA's own Curtis McCarty. Members of the Commission included builders, commercial builders, architects and others in the industry.

We couldn't hold events like the Green Building Summit without the help of our visionary sponsors.

Our Title Sponsors this year are: American Electric Power, C&S Supply-Masco, CenterPoint Energy Inc., Climate Master, Dolese Bros. Co., DuPont Tyvek, Forest Door & Window-Maritech Windows, Huber Engineered Woods, Lennox Industries, Morrison Supply Co., OGE and ONG.

The 2012 Summit is set for Sept. 27. Registration is just $50 per person ($75 per person after Sept. 21), and includes lunch. Online registration is open at

Get in on it. It could save you some regrets down the road.

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