Improving building regulations

The way houses and larger buildings are constructed is as much a product of policy as it is engineering. Building regulations apply to a building's structural elements, the materials used, their proper installation, and so on — but regulations can also control home energy use. By stipulating how the house is insulated and what sort of doors and windows to use, building regulations can determine whether your new home will be an energy guzzler or an energy miser over its lifetime. (We look at how buildings can be environmentally friendly in Chapter 14.)

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