A Quick Look at Boulder County Colorado’s BuildSmart Program
Boulder County is known to many as one of the leading centers of green building innovation in the country. Building codes are very strict and designed to promote and encourage high performance sustainable construction products and practices. The code was implemented in April of 2008 and applies to any new homes built or new additions to existing homes in unincorporated Boulder County.
There are six mandatory elements in the Boulder County BuildSmart Program that must be incorporated in all construction plans:
- Deconstruction: This includes the salvage of materials from existing buildings and either the recycling, resale or reuse of materials rather than sending them to landfills. As a minimum, deconstruction must include salvage of all reusable cabinets, doors, windows,wood, flooring and fixtures.
- Waste Reduction and Recycling: Materials like wood, scrap metal, cardboard and concrete must be either recycled on site or sent to a facility that will recapture the recyclable materials. Labeled containers must remain on site and documentation must evidence that proper procedures have been followed.
- Energy and Carbon Emissions: A Home Energy Rating System (HERS) standard is applied according to the size of the home. In the case of renovations, the standards are determined according to the size of the project. The HERS score is a measure of the energy efficiency of a home. I will have a post dedicated to HERS standards sometime in the near future.
- Renewable Energy Offsets for Outdoor Energy Uses: All energy used by interior or exterior pools, spas, patio heaters or other outdoor equipment requiring a permit must be offset by onsite renewable energy sources like solar or geothermal systems.
- Water Conservation: Low flow appliances and fixtures must be used in all projects.
- Indoor Air Quality: Strict standards must be adhered to with regard to the use of materials and processes affecting indoor air quality in addition to proper ventilation and air recycling. Standards apply to Volatile Organic Compounds commonly found in paints and adhesives, asbestos, radon and other indoor pollutants.
The program includes county-wide community education, building regulation and incentives for compliance. Development that adheres to the BuildSmart Program will helps create cost-effective, energy efficient structures that reduce greenhouse gases from residential buildings.
With some of the strictest green building codes in the country, you can be sure that your Boulder green home will be a healthier and more energy efficient compared to similar size homes that are not green.
If you or someone you know are planning to buy a green home, consider Boulder, Colorado. I would be happy to assist you in finding a home that meets your needs.
Visit my website at E3GreenHOMES.com for more information about buying or selling Colorado green homes.
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