More efficient buildings create equitable benefits for climate, jobs and health

City to Participate in Building Performance Standards Coalition

The City of Boulder has joined forces with state and local governments across the country in the National Building Performance Standard (BPS) Coalition, a collaboration launched by White House Council on Environmental Quality. By joining the coalition, Boulder has committed to update its building performance standards to help the city achieve its health, equity and climate goals.

“Our buildings must be safe, healthy, efficient and affordable spaces for all of our community members as we face the ever-worsening impacts of climate change,” said Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett. “Advancing our housing affordability and building decarbonization goals remain top priorities for our community. As Boulder looks to implement the next generation of our building performance standard, I am excited about our participation in the coalition and the opportunity to learn from other communities and experts.”

Building performance standards are state and local laws that require existing buildings to achieve minimum levels of energy or climate performance. Working in tandem with new construction energy codes, these policies empower state and local leaders to deliver on their energy and equity goals through accelerated retrofits.

The city already has several national-model building performance standards in place. For example, Boulder’s Building Performance Ordinance Program aims to reduce energy use and improve the quality of Boulder’s commercial and industrial building stock, while the SmartRegs program brought much-needed energy efficiency measures to rental units. The city is also a national leader when it comes to its construction codes, ensuring anything newly built is built to be the highest performance standards possible, Still, there is more work to do.

On average, people spend 90% of their time in buildings. Buildings are also responsible for 65% of Boulder’s carbon emissions (PDF) and are responsible for more urban pollution than the state’s fossil power plants. Upgrading and retrofitting buildings reduces overall energy use and dramatically reduces harmful emissions. At the same time, energy retrofits and upgrades improve a building’s health, resilience and comfort while generating jobs and local economic investment.

“Members of this groundbreaking coalition will help drive new jobs to make existing buildings across the country more efficient, affordable, healthier and resilient, and will deliver equitable benefits across their jurisdictions,” said Mark Chambers, Senior Director for Building Emissions and Community Resilience at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

In pursuing our commitments as a member of the National BPS Coalition, the city will be able to leverage technical support via federal agencies including the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. For more information about the coalition, visit