New Cushman & Wakefield Report Details Denver’s Trajectory Approach to Building Decarbonization
According to a new Cushman & Wakefield report: Denver’s Innovative Building Performance Standard Legislation, an estimated 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the built environment. Because the built environment is concentrated in urban communities, cities are playing a major role in achieving the goal of decarbonizing the world.
On November 22, 2021, the Denver City Council unanimously passed Bill 21-1310 adopting a comprehensive building decarbonization policy for its existing 17,000 commercial and multifamily buildings. The ordinance has a unique building performance standard involving a “trajectory approach” to be applied to the city’s largest commercial and multifamily buildings, a prescriptive energy requirement for small commercial and multifamily buildings, and an innovative electrification requirement for the replacement of space and water heaters in all buildings.
Denver’s unique “trajectory approach” to building performance standards for enclosed structures of 25,000 square feet or larger will ensure a maximum site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) goal will be achieved by 2030. The target site EUI for each building type should achieve at least 30% total energy savings across all buildings. Each building will have interim targets to achieve in 2024 and 2027 to confirm it is on track to meet its 2030 goals and to prevent building owners from delaying improvements. The trajectory approach calculates the building’s 2024 and 2027 interim goals by taking its 2019 energy usage and drawing a straight line down to the 2030 established standard. This approach takes into consideration that each building starts at a unique level of performance and has its own trajectory to reach its goal3. It also demonstrates to the building owner where the building’s performance standard should be at any given time.
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