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City of Denver - Green Building Requirement for City-Owned Buildings

Eligibility 
Local Government
Savings Category 
Solar - Passive
Solar Water Heat
Solar Space Heat
Solar Thermal Electric
Solar Photovoltaics
Wind (All)
Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Wind (Small)
Hydroelectric (Small)
Program Info
Sector Name 
Local
State 
Colorado
Program Type 
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Summary 
Executive Order 123, first signed in October 2007, established the Greenprint Denver Office and the sustainability policy for the city. In March 2013, Executive Order 123 was updated to create the Office of Sustainability—the successor to the Greenprint Denver Office—and establish key sustainability policies for the City and County of Denver.

The updated Executive Order 123 states that “all buildings constructed, renovated, or maintained with City funds or using City bonding capacity are to be designed, constructed, operated, and maintained according to the principles outlined in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the United States Environmental Protection Agencies ENERGY STAR program, and other applicable best management practices for sustainability and energy efficiency.”

High Performing Green Buildings

All new City building projects (new construction and major renovation) over 5,000 square feet that are funded after March 11, 2013, must achieve LEED Gold Certification, with the goal of achieving LEED Platinum—the highest possible rating—where economically feasible. Building projects less than 5,000 square feet must meet the intent of LEED-BD+C (Building Design and Construction) Gold certification, with a goal of achieving LEED-NC Gold, and follow the requirements of the Greenprint Denver Construction Project Guidance documents.  

New and existing buildings that meet ENERGY STAR eligibility requirements are to achieve ENERGY STAR certification.

The Executive Order also affirms that it is the City’s policy “to achieve the Better Buildings Challenge goal to reduce portfolio energy use by 20% per square foot by 2020 from the 2011 annual baseline by improving energy efficiency in all City facilities,” and to “continue pursuing renewable energy projects and programs.” Furthermore, all General Fund agencies must implement LEED EB: O+M best practices.

Cost Mitigation Measures

Where a building’s design (e.g., historic or unique features) leads to LEED certification being cost-prohibitive or technically infeasible, the project team is required to submit documentation and obtain a policy exemption from the Mayor. In the case a formal exemption is given, the project must adhere to LEED-BD+C guidelines and Greenprint Denver Construction Project Guidance to achieve the equivalent of LEED-BD+C Gold certification, with a goal of achieving LEED-BD+C Platinum.