Regional Recommendations and Toolkit For Green Building Programs in the Denver Metro Area

Colorado is a home-rule state in which local jurisdictions adopt building codes at the jurisdictional level to suit the needs of their community. Over the past twenty years Colorado has seen an increase in the number of communities adopting green building programs and codes, which has resulted in a patchwork of building and energy codes across the state.

This concern was first addressed in 2008 when the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and Greenprint Denver convened meetings with building code officials to discuss the possibility of developing a green building code for the Front Range of Colorado. Since the first meetings were held in 2008, new products have become available, including the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), International Green Construction Code (IGCC) and Standard 189.1. The project was repurposed in 2010 when a group of building industry stakeholders participated in a six-month process to reach agreement on a nationally developed code or standard that could be used as the foundation for green building programs in Denver Metro.

The intent of the toolkit is to assist the building code official by providing a product to present to their council or commissioners outlining the incremental steps the jurisdiction can take to ultimately adopt a green building program.  The building official can use the toolkit to adopt a regionally-consistent program, and to use as a reference the implementation strategies and educational resources. Jurisdictions that already have a green building program can use this toolkit to adopt the codes and standards that are recommended by the stakeholder group, thereby promoting consistency throughout the region.