BATC Brings More than 80 to Builder Day at the Capitol

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More than 80 members of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) joined other residential construction industry professionals from around the state to descend on the Minnesota Capitol grounds yesterday to meet and talk with representatives and senators about the issues that affect the housing industry.

The day started with an issues briefing in the morning by key legislators including Representative Mike Beard (R-Shakopee), Senator John Pederson (R-St. Cloud) and Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisolm) followed by remarks by Builders Association of Minnesota Executive Vice President Remi Stone.

After the morning briefing, BATC members headed to the Capitol to visit with their respective elected officials. “It has been an important and engaging day for everyone involved,” said 2013 BATC President Pamela Belz, a developer with Senior Housing Partners. “Our members are really passionate about making sure our industry can continue to provide safe, durable and affordable homes for our clients. Educating our legislators about the realities of the market helps them make better decisions.”

As the housing market continues its recovery, BATC members wanted to be sure to tell legislators about the importance of keeping housing prices affordable for young families. One important concern is a proposed indoor sprinkler system mandate for single-family homes over 4,500 square feet (including unfinished space), which is currently included in new building codes expected to be released in a few months. Research has shown that indoor sprinkler systems do little to reduce the already-low risk of death or serious injury in a residential fire. However, these systems cost up to $20,000 to install and add to the annual maintenance expenses for a new home. Over the next decade, an estimated 30 percent of new homes would be required to have indoor sprinkler systems if this recommendation is approved. In recent years, the Residential Code Advisory Committee has recommended that the sprinkler systems be optional in new homes, not required.

The Builders Association of a Twin Cities is the leading voice for builders and remodelers. BATC represents 1,100 builders, remodelers, developers and industry suppliers with a mission of helping its members grow their businesses through marketing, advocacy and industry connections. BATC is widely recognized as a powerful force at the state Legislature and with state regulatory agencies. It’s also known for its twice-a-year signature events: The Parade of Homes℠ and Remodelers Showcase®. In addition, BATC offers Minnesota’s Green Path℠, a growing new home and remodeling certification program providing healthy, durable, energy-efficient homes to buyers and homeowners.