Denver Pursues New Building and Fire Code

DENVER — A new public process to adopt an updated building and fire code, which will include a voluntary “green construction code,” is underway for the first time in Denver’s history.

“Code development has broad-reaching impacts, from our local design and construction community to the people who will live in and visit Denver’s buildings for years to come,” said Scott Prisco, Denver’s building official. “In this code cycle, we are focusing on simplifying unnecessarily complex building codes and are taking a hard look at how Denver’s energy code will support the city’s climate action goals in the short and long term.”

The Denver Building and Fire Code is based on internationally accepted standards of building safety and energy efficiency. It establishes the minimum standards for building construction in Denver and is the guiding code for how the city licenses, permits, and inspects contractors and construction projects.

Adopting a new building and fire code will allow Denver to advance from the 2015 series of international base codes to the 2018 edition.

During this code cycle, the city will also pursue adoption of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) on a voluntary basis. The IGCC is a novel code that coordinates with standards already used in Denver to create a framework for more sustainable building design, construction, and operation.

“Energy efficiency is a critical strategy to achieve Denver’s climate action goals. Our team is working hard to ensure our building code and newly developed green construction code maximize the environmental, climate, and utility bill savings that efficient design provides,” said Katrina Managan, Climate Smart Buildings team lead.

“Ensuring Denver remains at the forefront of new and evolving building and fire safety codes is a priority of ours,” said Fire Prevention Division Chief Manny Almaguer. “Keeping current on codes allows us to address and manage emerging fire and life safety hazards while continuing to deliver a high level of fire service from engineering and permitting to inspections and enforcement.”

The city will consider a number of local amendments to the 2018 international codes to ensure that the final adopted building and fire code works for Denver’s specific climate and context. Interested members of the public are invited to submit their amendment proposals online at until Friday, April 26.

The new building and fire code will need to be approved by Denver City Council before it will go into effect.


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