Boulder County Green Building Program

Boulder county’s BuildSmart program is even more aggressive than the City of Boulder’s Green Points program.

Just last may, the county program went into effect, and last week BuildSmart was to get a ‘checkup’. Thinking about building some Boulder real estate in the county? Check out this info I have for you!

If you are thinking about a real estate change, whether you’re buying or selling, why not call or email me today so we can discuss your plans? I’d love to hear what you have cookin’

If you’re in the midst of something in Boulder county that might be subject to the BuildSmart program, you might be interested to know that the program applies to any new construction project, remodeling projects, and even additions to your home.

Here’s a BuildSmart run-down with an outline on the regulations you’ll want to review:

Water Conservation:

All toilets must be low-flow, and shower heads and sink faucets must have an average flow rate of two gallons per minute (or less).


Any existing buildings must be dismantled. No more dumping in the landfill around here! You’ll have to dismantle buildings and structures so that all materials can be salvaged for recycling, resale, or reuse. This includes removing cabinets, windows and doors, as well as salvaging walls, doors and floors.

Energy Conservation:

If you’re building a new house that is going to be smaller than 1,000 square feet, it must have a HERS rating of 85. That’s the standard minimum to qualify for an Energy Star rated home. This means that the house is 15 percent more efficient than a house built to the standard building code.

If you’re planning on building a home between 1,001 and 3,000 square feet, you’ll need to have a HERS rating of 60. Going over 3,000 square feet? … homes between 3,001 and 4,000 must have a HERS rating of 40. And if you take it up to 4,001 – 5,000 square feet, a HERS rating of 25 will be required.

So you may ask, what if I’m going even bigger? Let’s say 6,000 or 7,000 square feet. Well, anything over 5,000 must have a HERS rating of 10, which is to say that it’s virtually net zero on energy use. Nothing wrong with that. Did you check out the Boulder real estate blog post I did for you on Bruce Oreck’s Next West house? That’s totally net zero energy, and it isn’t some George Jetson-looking house.

Outdoor Energy Uses:

Swimming pools, hot tubs, and other exterior energy users including snow melt and ice melt systems, patio heaters, and even patio heaters and outdoor kitchens must be offset with on-site renewable energy such as solar panels. One great way to do this is to install Photo Voltaic (PV) panels on your home.

I hope you’ll consider calling or emailing me if you have any upcoming real estate plans. It would be good to see if I’m the right fit for what you have in mind, and talking together is a great first step.

-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker®


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