Architectural Record: Building Electrification Charges Forward

In 2019, the City of Berkeley, California passed the first U.S. ordinance prohibiting the installation of natural gas piping in new residential and commercial construction. While the Ninth Circuit Court eventually ruled this ban unlawful – a ruling that recently held up on appeal - over 100 U.S. cities and states now have policies that prohibit or discourage gas lines in new buildings.

In a recent article on the state of building electrification, Architectural Record’s Matthew Marani asked SmithGroup vice president and decarbonization expert Stet Sanborn about the implications of the Berkeley ruling and similar lawsuits.  “The train has already left the station,” Sanborn said. “The gas lobby can go fight city by city, but the momentum is already there, and building electrification is cheaper and safer than the alternative.”

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