Denver Green Code

Cover page of the 2022 Denver Green Code Taking action both to mitigate climate change, and to adapt to impacts of a changing climate, is critical to supporting a bright future for the Denver community. The Denver Green Code is based on the International Green Construction Code. Denver first adopted the green code on a voluntary basis in 2019. Starting in May 2023, the city will begin requiring commercial and multifamily development to meet some provisions from this code, while allowing projects the flexibility to choose which specific provisions to implement.

The Denver Green Code contains 116 provisions, organized under six key areas of impact:

  1. Site Sustainability
  2. Water Use
  3. Energy
  4. Indoor Environmental Quality
  5. Materials and Resources
  6. Construction and Plans for Operation

Commercial and Multifamily Development

The Denver Green Code applies to projects in two ways:

  1. Limited, mandatory use for all new commercial or multifamily projects and major renovations starting May 1, 2023
  2. Voluntary, enhanced use for commercial or multifamily project teams interested in providing higher benefits and significant leadership for Denver’s community. Residential project teams also have the opportunity to use the Denver Green Code voluntarily.

Limited, Mandatory Use

Project teams are encouraged to gain familiarity with all Denver Green Code provisions. Mandatory requirements for commercial projects are very flexible to allow project teams to choose a small number of provisions from each of the six key areas of impact (above) that best align with opportunities unique to each property.

The minimum requirements for commercial projects are outlined in Table 101.4.1 in the Denver Green Code. These requirements are also outlined on the checklist available for download below, which must be submitted with a project's construction documents.

Checklist: Download the limited, mandatory use checklist(XLSX, 1MB)

Table 101.4.1 in the Denver Green Code specifies the number of provisions within each chapter that projects must meet. Projects have discretion over which provisions they implement, provided the meet the required quantity for each chapter.

Voluntary, Enhanced Use

On a voluntary basis, any project may choose to use one of the four enhanced options below. These are described in more detail in Section 101.4.2 of the 2022 Denver Green Code.

  • Option 1: As-written, or
  • Option 2: LEED Platinum, or
  • Option 3: Zero Net Energy + All Electric, or
  • Option 4: Passive House + As-written excluding energy chapter requirements

Checklist: Download the voluntary, enhanced use checklist(XLSX, 1MB)

If you are interested in exploring the voluntary, enhanced use of the Denver Green Code for your development project, please email Christy Collins.

Denver Green Code Tutorial Videos

Introduction & overview (~10 minutes), view slide deck(PDF, 1008KB)

What's new in 2022 (~8 minutes), view slide deck(PDF, 2MB)

Commercial Energy

Provision Number Video (Opens in YouTube Slide Deck
CE01 Reduced Air Infiltration
View slide deck(PDF, 772KB)
Enhanced DEC C406 Credit Requirements
View slide deck(PDF, 771KB)
Energy Consumption Management
View slide deck(PDF, 580KB)
Demand Response
View slide deck(PDF, 571KB)
CE05 coming soon
CE06 coming soon  
Building Envelope
View slide deck(PDF, 720KB)
SHGC of Vertical Fenestration
View slide deck(PDF, 718KB)
Orientation of Vertical Fenestration
View slide deck(PDF, 952KB)
Minimum Equipment Efficiencies (HVAC)
View slide deck(PDF, 1MB)
Ventilation Controls
View slide deck(PDF, 772KB)
Duct Leakage Tests
View slide deck(PDF, 726KB)
View slide deck(PDF, 650KB)
Minimum Equipment Performance Ratings
View slide deck(PDF, 543KB)
Fan System Power
View slide deck(PDF, 650KB)
Exhaust Air Energy Recovery
View slide deck(PDF, 554KB)
Duct Insulation
View slide deck(PDF, 759KB)
Automatic Controls in Hotel Motel Rooms View slide deck(PDF, 638KB)
Equipment Efficiency (SWH)
View slide deck(PDF, 1MB)
Insulation for Spa Pools
View slide deck(PDF, 1MB)
High Output SWH Systems
View slide deck(PDF, 683KB)
Drain Water Heat Recovery
View slide deck(PDF, 2MB)
Interior Lighting Power Densities (LPDs)
View slide deck(PDF, 638KB)
Exterior Lighting Power Densities (LPDs)
View slide deck(PDF, 673KB)
Horticulture Lighting
View slide deck(PDF, 945KB)
Lighting Controls
View slide deck(PDF, 861KB)
Kitchen Exhaust Systems
View slide deck(PDF, 940KB)
Supermarket Heat Recovery
View slide deck(PDF, 805KB)
CE29 coming soon  
CE30 coming soon  
Programmable Thermostats
View slide deck(PDF, 663KB)
Refrigerated Display Cases
View slide deck(PDF, 936KB)
Energy Monitoring
View slide deck(PDF, 863KB)
Zero Net Energy Approach View slide deck(PDF, 862KB)
Commercial Passive House Approach
View slide deck(PDF, 842KB)

Taking action in a changing climate
Taking action both to mitigate climate change, and to adapt to impacts of a changing climate, is critical to supporting a bright future for the Denver community.  Since its 2019 adoption and through recent updates, the Denver Green Code prioritizes lower carbon impact attributable to new buildings citywide, lowering contributions to climate change. It supports community health and resilience in a warmer, drier environment, and bolsters availability of essential resources like water and clean air for all Denver residents. Through advancement and use of the Denver Green Code, developers, property owners, project teams, and city teams continue to respond to Denver voters’ prioritization of immediate climate action. Collectively, new codes and programs, including the Green Buildings Ordinance, Energize Denver Ordinance, and updated Denver Energy Code, serve to also advance the city’s goals tied to climate action, limited natural resources, and resilience as city agencies, voters, and Denver’s development community work to secure a livable and viable future for Denver.