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Sustainable Net Zero Energy

*This article orignally appears in KDBR Denver, on Jan 26, 2021

The city of Denver is moving towards the future with an aggressive pace to achieve sustainability through sustainable net zero energy goals in 2030. To achieve this goal, there will be new building codes and regulations to enforce more sustainable design and developments of new homes and buildings.

Net Zero Energy New buildings and Homes Implementation Plan

Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency (CASR) has recently sent out its Net Zero Energy (NZE) New Buildings and Homes Implementation Plan this last Tuesday, Jan. 26th, 2021. In its plan, there are details on three major changes that are intended to be rolled out over time in order to meet the goal of sustainable net zero energy by 2030. 

  • Updating building codes to require net-zero energy by 2024 in all-electric new homes
  • Updating building codes to require net-zero energy by 2024 in all-electric new buildings 
  • Have all new buildings “perform as design” by 2030

Why is Net Zero Energy Sustainable?

Denver has defined that a home can be net-zero energy if it is a new building or home that has a highly energy-efficient footprint and can be fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy. By lowering cost and consumption of energy demands the new buildings introduce a stronger infrastructure that supports sustainable energy goals. Characteristics of these Sustainable homes include:

  • Highly energy efficient
  • All-electric
  • Powered by renewable energy
  • Energy Demands flexible on/off-grid

Sustainable net zero energy building code

When will these changes for sustainability happen?

CASR has been working with Denver’s Climate Action Task Force for net-zero new homes in the 2024 Building Code and net-zero new buildings in the 2027 Building Code. The new goals and outlines for the targeted outcome will be implemented through the standard Denver code adoption process and ultimately incorporated in the Denver Building and Fire Code. This will require those who plan to build homes or developments in the very near future to be aware of new stipulations Denver will have. Building sustainably is always a key focus for those who serve the Greater Denver area and the adaptation for these changes will be an interesting addition to construction.

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