Boulder County Approves Green Building Code Draft

Tuesday evening the Boulder County Commissioners gave official approval to a draft which may put in place new building codes that focus on green building. This may also force larger homes in unincorporated Boulder County to have on-site renewable energy systems.

Commisioners will Toor, Ben Pearlman and Cincy Domenico approved BuildSmart which allows the Boulder County Land Use Department to write new building codes. If the commissioners bring them back in April for final approval, the draft could become official.

As green building topics and information becomes more mainstream, I think it becomes increasingly ‘on-topic’ for us in Boulder and that’s why I spent this last year working on learning more about these issues and getting my EcoBroker certification.

More BuildSmart information and documentation is available at the Boulder County website.

The article at the BCBR enews reports also that:

The new green building codes look to decrease conventional energy use, while increasing sustainability, recycling and alternative energy use in all new homes built in unincorporated Boulder County.

An earlier Boulder Daily Camera article commented on the BuildSmart issue:

“BuildSmart is going to be a great precedent for national green-building programs and not just its role in the county,” Collin Tomb, who works for Jim Logan Architects in Boulder, said at a public hearing Wednesday.

Local projects including the Northfield Commons and The Peloton have incorporated green building techniques into their work and there’s some word that the trend will continue with or without the commissioners taking this action. I believe that The Walnut Boulder project in Downtown Boulder is also on the green band-wagon on some level and I’ll know more soon when I visit the site again and the sales office downtown.

BuildSmart, Boulder County’s proposed green-building program, could become a national model for attaching energy-conservation mandates to home construction in unincorporated areas.

From the Longmont Times Call, an article by John Fryar about 3 weeks ago quoted one Boulder County Commissioner’s public hearing attendee:

“I applaud the vision of Boulder County’s policy makers and fully support the concept of ensuring that new homes must have much lower carbon footprints than ones built in the past,” said Larry Kinney, a board member of the Boulder Green Building Guild.

Kinney, who lives on Deer Trail Road, said, “By requiring that large homes become especially more energy-efficient, this policy will do all of us — especially wealthy citizens — a big favor. Their homes will be more valuable, especially as energy costs increase.”

Cities around North America including Boulder, CO, Vancouver, BC and others are implementing BuildSmart ideologies. Actually, on May 25th 2005, BuildSmart, Metro Vancouver’s Green Building program, was been nationally recognized for its contribution to building a sustainable community in the Greater Vancouver Region.

BUILDSMART was created in January 2003 to be a resource for the design and construction industry, helping designers make smart, sustainable choices when crafting the future of our constructed environment.

Green Building Fact

Post occupancy studies of green buildings show:
– productivity increases from 6-16%,
– 15-40% reduction in absenteeism,
– higher employee retention rates,
– higher sales in daylit stores, and
– higher academic performance in daylit schools.


One Response to “Boulder County Approves Green Building Code Draft”

  1. Boulder Custom Builder Bob Hughes "Nails It" For Architect Jim Logan | Boulder Real Estate on April 19th, 2009 9:22 am

    […] is finishing up an incredible green-focused remodel on the personal residence of well-know local Boulder architect Jim […]

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