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Denver Green Code and Affordable Housing Pilot Program

Denver skyline

This pilot program is intended to encourage the construction of affordable housing units in Denver as well as projects dedicated to reducing development-related environmental impacts by following the 2019 Denver Green Code (DGC). 

Affordable Housing Projects

The Department of Housing Stability (HOST) will identify five qualified development proposals for the affordable housing pilot program. To qualify, projects must be 100% affordable with at least 20% of the units restricted to households that are at 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or lower. Preferred projects will provide housing in transit-rich areas, access to opportunity factors such as high-quality education, proximity to good paying jobs, and other services and amenities such as parks, libraries, recreation centers, child care, health care, and grocery stores. 

Denver Green Code Projects

The all new, voluntary Denver Green Code provides guidance for higher performing buildings and sites through energy efficiency, resource conservation, sustainable materials, indoor environmental quality, water safety, site development, land use, and overall building performance. CPD will identify five major commercial projects for the Denver Green Code pilot program. To qualify, projects must choose one of four paths: 

  • Comply with the provisions of the Denver Green Code as written; 
  • Achieve Platinum Certification using version 4.1 or later of the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) program; 
  • Achieve Zero Net Energy; or
  • Achieve Passive House certification plus comply with the provisions of all non-energy chapters of the Denver Green Code as written.

BENEFITS

Fee Reduction: The fee reduction for accepted projects will be 50% of the total Building Code associated fees for plans review and the Commercial Construction Permit fee, not to exceed a total fee reduction of $50,000 per project.

Enhanced Site Development Process (SDP): The enhanced SDP process will reduce the overall number of required submittals and associated review cycles; and ultimately, the total number of days to receive SDP approval. This will be achieved by an enhanced coordinated review and additional meetings between City agencies and the applicant team to resolve issues and outline requirements for productive and efficient re-submittals.

CPD will assign a dedicated Project Coordinator to the pilot projects at the time of concept submittal. The Project Coordinator will provide consolidated review comments, identify issues that may significantly impact the design of the project, and outline the necessary permits and/or applications required for development, as well as the process to obtain all permits in a timely manner.

At time of formal Site Development Plan submittal, the Project Coordinator will provide consolidated review comments and identify any significant or conflicting requirements, and set meetings as needed between the applicant team and necessary city agencies to discuss review comments and determine options/solutions for the applicant team to address in subsequent submittals.

Expedited Building Log Plans Review: Community Planning and Development (CPD), Denver Fire Department (DFD), and Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI), and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) will complete initial reviews 10 business days, with any necessary resubmittal reviews completed in five business days.


How do I submit my project for consideration?

Both types of projects must be substantial in nature and be approved by the Building Official prior to being accepted into the pilot program.

How many projects will be accepted into the program?

Acceptance into the pilot program is limited to five projects of each type. 

If my project is not accepted into the program, can I still receive incentives?

All detached single-unit homes and duplex projects that follow the Denver Green Code will receive expedited reviews, but will not receive fee reductions at this time. However, if the project qualifies as affordable housing, it may be eligible for a partial fee reduction.