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Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado.

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Presentation on theme: "Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado

2 Review of Existing Literature yielded… –Many municipal-based programs: some mandatory, most optional, varied in nature and compliance requirement. –Most of the mandatory programs, i.e. Portland and San Francisco, require green building for all government-owned buildings-commercial only. –Most residential green building programs are optional. –Only three mandatory residential programs existed at beginning of study: Austin and Frisco, TX and Boulder, CO. –Descriptive comparison paper on Frisco’s and Boulder’s programs’ origin. –Descriptive comprehensive comparison paper on Boulder and Scottsdale, AZ (an optional residential program). –Very little literature addressing exact problematic issues associated with a mandatory residential green building program.

3 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Statement of the Problem –For city, state, or federal governments to propose and enact building legislation, they must first be certain of the benefits, repercussions and overall impact that could result from such legislation. With respect to legislating green building practice, only limited results have been published. A few city municipalities have successfully implemented green building legislation; these cities could likely offer assistance to other cities seeking to implement green building programs. –With evaluation of the GPBP’s problematic issues and determination of how best to address them, this case study determined a successful green building program model, specific to the goals of the City of Boulder, but useful to other municipalities with similar green building goals.

4 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Developing the case study design… –Established contacts with the City of Boulder and the Green Points Building Program (GPBP). (David Johnston & Elizabeth Vasatka) –Determined research into associated problematic issues would be most beneficial for the GPBP and to the city. –Determined a descriptive study is most appropriate. –Determined that study participants should represent all stakeholder groups of the GPBP – Env. Affairs staff, other City staff, builders, architects, consultants, building suppliers.

5 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Developing the case study design… –To explore problematic issues associated with the GPBP, the study needed to interview various stakeholders. –Potential solutions to the problems were to be explored in a focus group discussion composed of various professionals. –Elizabeth Vasatka supplied a list of professional contacts familiar with GPBP; it included architects, builders, consultants, etc. –The city’s staff of building inspectors, project specialists, and building officials were also invited to participate. –Very high response rate of those participants who were contacted.

6 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Research Questions, Part 1 –Interviewees focused on problem identification 1.What issues, found to be problematic, are associated with legislation and/or regulation of green building? *Political, Economic, Administrative, Compliance or Other

7 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Research Questions, Part 2 –Focus Group was encouraged to identify solutions to identified problems 2.What can be determined by experts/stakeholders of the GPBP about the nature of those issues identified as problematic? A.Are the identified issues truly problematic to the enactment and/or operation of the GPBP, or simply one individual’s complaint? 3. What solutions can be determined by a group of experts/stakeholders to address the issues found to be problematic to the GPBP? A.For each issue found to be problematic, what best course of action should be taken to address it? B. What updates to the GPBP are necessary to address and/or correct the identified problematic issues?

8 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Methodology –Interview portion: Conducted 11 interviews: asked 5 questions (sub- questions of Research Question #1) approximately minutes. –Compiled all issues discussed in all interviews into a list of 29 problematic issues. –Data Analysis: Concisely filtered list into an outline of issues for the focus group discussion. –Focus Group portion: comprised of 11 participants discussed 10 issues (4 of which had sub-issues) –Data Analysis: Developed a list compiling all potential solutions to each issue offered in the focus group. –Based on the focus group discussion, participant notes sheets, and favored solutions summed aloud, a list of optimal solutions for each of the 10 issues was developed.

9 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 1 and Favored Potential Solution 1.Self-Certified Options Increased homeowner, building professional, and inspector education so they realize proper inspection is in their best interests, and better understand the benefits of using green points. Encourage the use of outside or private inspectors by builders.

10 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 2 and Favored Potential Solution 2. Inconsistencies between Guidelines and Checklist Invite construction trade input in revising/clarifying definitions/etc. prior to changes/updates. Improve consistency with other green programs throughout the nation.

11 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 3 and Favored Potential Solution 3. Problems with the current set of Green Point Options Conduct group meetings upon updating options to determine point values and which options to include. Increase education of consumers on availability, uses, etc. of materials.

12 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 4 and Favored Potential Solution 4. Lack of Education Provide an all-in-one-place explanation of requirements for compliance, complete with a Frequently Asked Questions’ section, and any interpretive questions directed to the Office of Environmental Affairs. Increased and on-going education for city staff and permit applicants, offering inspectors incentives.

13 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 5 and Favored Potential Solution 5. Contribution to higher construction costs in Boulder Get utility companies on board in educating building professionals, city staff and inspection professionals on reducing energy loads.

14 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 6 and Favored Potential Solution 6. Point values don’t consistently reflect environmental impact of options Clearly defined criteria (available and accepted) on how environmental impact is measured, with ongoing professional input, will best define the green point options.

15 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 7 and Favored Potential Solution 7. Building requirement not all located in one place Develop a better website complete with user’s guide for the program and its required (consolidated) documents.

16 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 8 and Favored Potential Solution 8. GPBP requirements are limiting to design possibilities Increased use of the ‘Innovative’ points that are available.

17 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 9 and Favored Potential Solution 9. GPBP not applicable in historic districts Meetings/alignment of city Historic and Environmental boards.

18 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Issue 10 and Favored Potential Solution 10. Increased potential for lawsuits Careful consultation with experts and professionals when updating to include new green option products/processes.

19 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Conclusions –Conclusion 1: The Green Points Program is functioning well. The GPBP is achieving the goal of increasing green building awareness and implementation within the city. The program shows progressive growth and acceptance within the community. Administration is effective and the program review process in place is successful; it is important that the city maintain adequate staff and the currently healthy link of program-citizen relations. (See Conclusions 3 and 4.) –Conclusion 2: Education is key to current and future program success. It is necessary to educate city staff (especially all who may interpret or enforce policy) on specific processes, intentions, etc. of the program. It is also necessary to educate the building community on requirements for compliance, available resources, etc. associated with green building and the GPBP. Offering that education continuously and progressively is extremely important. The City of Boulder should continue to offer and potentially increase the range of programs that educate staff, building professionals and citizens.

20 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Conclusions Conclusion 3: Administration of the program and options listed in the guidelines should be reviewed and updated independent of one another. The current system for review and update of the program every five years is sufficient for administrative procedure issues. It is suggested that a system be implemented that reviews and recommends points and/or options alternatives every 2-3 years. Conclusion 4: A more thorough project/permit review process and an increase in audit capabilities could increase the overall effectiveness of the GPBP. To achieve this and the above- mentioned increased frequency of point/option review, this research study recommends the City of Boulder consider adding staff to ensure continued program success..

21 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Conclusions –Conclusion 5: The Green Points Program could serve as an applicable model for other cities. Demographics, intentions, goals, financial atmosphere, etc., may be specific to Boulder, Colorado. The GPBP is successful in achieving city goals, primarily that of increased green building awareness and practice, it aimed to achieve. The similarities between the GPBP and other programs researched in the literature review are in administration, format, categories of options, and other ‘guiding’ aspects of program models.

22 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Future Research Ideas: 1. Compare Boulder homeowner satisfaction (maybe even health) to that of non-green city homeowners. 2. Study all green programs and look for key components. 3. Study cities showing no green initiative and ask ‘why not?’

23 Legislation & Regulation of Green Building: Case Study of Boulder, Colorado Overall Experience/Benefit: 1. Program is well-received 2. City very cooperative and open to change/improve 3. This study clearly defined Boulder’s program as a successful model 4. Increased knowledge and practice of green building.


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