Green Building Codes For Commercial Boulder Real Estate

The Walnut

The City of Boulder has implemented green building codes on all new homes within the city, and now Boulder officials may be considering the same for commercial buildings. There an immediate tie-in to our local developer, Morgan Creek Ventures and their project, The Walnut.

The Walnut and Morgan Creek Ventures are already ahead of the game in some respects as they haven’t waited for the city to impose standards but rather, they’ve set some of their own.

The city’s Office of Environmental Affairs is trying to get people who have financial and / or personal interest in the local commercial building and real estate community to begin talking and sharing ideas on what the possible new code might include. I’ve heard from local media sources that the City Council could have a proposal possibly before the end of 2008.

The City of Boulder’s power company, Xcel Energy may become part of the mix as the city works to create a new code that might include much tighter standards on new energy technologies, renewable energy requirements, and energy efficiency.

While local Realtors and developers seem to be in support of green building standards for new construction within Boulder, I think it’s safe to say that they also want the city to be careful not to create code that’s so restrictive it causes unnecessary problems and road-blocks to the development and building process. There’s a tendency for codes of this nature to sometimes try to cover so many topics that it becomes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution that hinders reasonable progress.

Andy Bush of Morgan Creek Ventures has reportedly told the Boulder County Business Report that he thinks the new code should include certain green building requirements, but beyond that, it should provide a menu of green building choices that are incentive-based and not forced upon by the city.

Morgan Creek Ventures already embraces many green building strategies and is the developer of The Walnut in central Boulder at 17th & Walnut. The Walnut is leading the way with it’s progressive approach as the first residential project in Boulder to build the first LEED certified development. The LEED certification is something typically given to commercial property until recently.

Also, The Walnut Boulder will follow in the footsteps of the firm’s other sustainable development efforts, which include working with Rocky Mountain Institute to create the first LEED Platinum CI (commercial interiors) certified space in the United States.

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