Consider Solar to Meet Green Building Ordinance

The Denver Green Building Ordinance was passed by Denver City Council and is now in effect (formerly known as the Denver Green Roof Initiative). The goals of the ordinance are to help reduce energy consumption, reduce the urban heat island effect, manage stormwater, increase urban biodiversity for pollinators and improve Denver’s air quality. We have been closely tracking this ordinance to help building owners determine the best return on investment when choosing what required measure to adopt.

The ordinance applies to commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet that are new builds or re-roofing projects or any building additions greater than 24,999 sf. All new commercial permits over 24,999 gross floor area must comply.

The current ordinance gives building owners the option to install a green roof; a green roof and solar photovoltaic combo; cover the entire usable roof space with solar PV; pay a fee-in-lieu; secure a green building certification (e.g., LEED) or Energy Star score of 85 or higher; or be net zero; as well as a few other alternatives as determined by the city of Denver.

There are many qualitative benefits to choosing to install a green roof, but solar PV provides additional economic benefits to the building owner that can deliver an attractive return on investment. Solar PV frequently costs less per square foot than a green roof, weighs less and has the added advantage of reducing your electric bill. Solar PV also generates tax benefits amounting to just over 50% of the cost of the system, potentially all in the first year. Additionally, solar PV represents a significant opportunity to reduce operating expenses, increase your property’s value and help differentiate your business – consumers and tenants show a strong preference for businesses that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. Solar PV has become the main energy source to address the uncertainty of rising energy costs while helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Read the full article in the July issues of CREJ’s Property Management Quarterly to find out how C-PACE can help you meet the Green Building Ordinance