Larimer County adopts National Green Building Standard

The Larimer County Board of County Commissioners recently adopted the National Green Building Standard for one- and two-family dwellings as the standard to use for a voluntary green building program in Larimer County.

What is the voluntary green building program?
The voluntary green building program is based on the International Code Council’s National Green Building Standard to promote and facilitate the building, buying and remodeling of a home into one that is more comfortable, efficient and durable. The program is administered by a third-party rater approved by the County.

Do commercial structures qualify for the program?
Not at this time.

How are structures rated green?
The Green Building Standard establishes practices for the design and construction of green residential buildings, building sites, subdivisions and renovations. The building, project, site and/or development’s environmental performance level consists of certain mandatory requirements contained in the Green Building Standard, plus points assessed using a point system. Points are awarded for:

•Site design and development
•Lot design, preparation and development
•Resource efficiency
•Energy efficiency
•Water efficiency
•Indoor environmental quality
•Operation, maintenance and building owner education

There are four performance levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald. To qualify for one of these performance levels, a certain number of points must be earned. For more information, see www.nahbgreen.org

How does the process begin?
A contractor or homeowner desiring to follow the Voluntary Green Building Program first needs to call the Larimer County Building Department (970-498-7700) to discuss options for complying with the Green Building Standard.

After discussing options with the Building Department, call the Larimer County Planning Department (970-498-7683) to discuss whether or not the setback requirements for a proposed structure will allow the proper orientation of the structure on the lot.

Once the setbacks for a given lot have been determined, the next step is to select a Larimer County approved third-party green building program rater.

Available third party reviewers and raters are:
Energy Logic
525 County Road 8, PO Box N
Berthoud, CO 80513
Phone: 720-838-0677
Email: robby@nrglogic.com
Website: www.nrglogic.com

Current Certified Raters:
Carrissa Sawyer & Paul Gelatt
Phone: 970-532-5074

Once the plans for the proposed structure have been reviewed and approved by the third-party rater, the plans and permit application may be submitted to the Larimer County Building Department for building permit review.

Building permit application information must include the performance level the project proposes to achieve under the Green Building Standard. See page 1 for information on ratings and performance levels.

What happens after the permit application is submitted?

The structure plans are routed as normal to applicable departments including the Larimer County Plans Examiner to review for compliance with minimum building code requirements.

Once the structure plans have been reviewed and approved for permit issuance, a building permit is issued as normal for a one- or two-family dwelling project.

Larimer County Building Inspectors then conduct normal inspections required for one- and two-family dwellings.

The approved third-party rater conducts the inspections required to certify that the structure is in compliance with the Green Building Standard. It is the responsibility of the contractor or homeowner to obtain regular inspection approvals from the third-party rater in the proper sequence.

Normal final inspection approvals apply with the addition that final inspection approval is completed by the approved third-party rater to certify the structure meets the proposed level of Bronze, Silver, Gold or Emerald contained in the Green Building Standard.

Once all county final inspections are approved, not including final inspection approval from the third-party rater, a certificate of occupancy will be issued for the structure.

A Green Building Program Compliance Certificate indicating the performance level achieved (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Emerald) is issued once all compliance materials have been received from the third-party Rater certifying the structure’s compliance with the Green Building Standard.

A certificate of occupancy for the structure will not be held up while waiting for receipt of the Green Building Program Certification materials from the third-party rater.

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