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Boulder, Colorado Green Building Code notes sustainability of historic resources

July 25, 2008

The City of Boulder, Colorado recently issued a revised Green building code that explicitly protects historic resources and materials and acknowledges preservation as integral to sustainability. The mandatory code was first adopted in 1996 to require builders and homeowners to adopt green building practices locally and to ensure and verify that new residential construction in Boulder creates more sustainably designed and built houses. The code has mandatory requirements that have measurement and verification mechanisms. In addition, the program has become a model for other communities interested in enhancing quality of life and reducing the environmental impacts of the local building stock.

In the preface:
“The 2008 Green Points program highlights the many ways green building benefits building professionals, homeowners, and the community. In the city of Boulder, green building practices provide a response to challenging issues like addressing energy and climate change, protecting natural resources, promoting good indoor air quality, preserving historic buildings and neighborhoods, (emphasis added) and educating members of the community about sustainable construction….

Our common goal is to provide as many energy- and resource-efficient solutions as possible without sacrificing the integrity of what it means to build green or appropriately preserve important historic resources.”

Icicles, gaps in rooftop snow cover, and other signs
of heat leakage are useful indicators that help home
energy professionals improve the energy efficiency
of existing homes.

Boulder recognizes the importance of historic fabric, particularly original windows:

From the Boulder Green Points handbook (p. 10)

(c) Building Rehabilitation
(1) Rehabilitation and/or Retrofitting of Windows and Doors:
Up to 10 points
Rehabilitation of windows and doors can improve both building energy efficiency and the comfort of the occupants.
Application: Rehabilitation of existing windows and doors on non-historic buildings and windows and doors on individual historic landmarks and contributing buildings in designated historic districts to make weather tight, and/or retrofitting of appropriate interior or exterior storm windows.
Please note that for individually landmarked properties and historically contributing buildings located in historic districts, these points are approved in conjunction with, or contingent upon, the Landmark Preservation Advisory Board’s assessment and approval of a Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC).

Up to 3 points—Complete an appropriate rehabilitation and/or retrofitting of windows and doors – (.5 point for each window)

Up to 2 points—Storm window system – (.5 point for each window)

Up to 5 additional points – (.5 point for each window) – If the building is designated as an individual landmark or contributing to an historic district pursuant to Chapter 9-11, “Historic Preservation,” B.R.C. 1981

Verification: Inspected during plan review and in conjunction with LAC compliance at final inspection.

See the complete Green Points code from Boulder: greenpointsboulder


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