Program City of Denver - Green Building Requirement for City-Owned Buildings
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector Local
Last Update
State Colorado
Technologies Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics

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. All General Fund agencies must implement LEED EB: O+M best practices.

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

The City’s 2020 Sustainability Goals also include reducing energy use in city-operated buildings by 20% from the 2011 annual baseline, as well as doubling renewable energy produced by city facilities. 

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. 

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