SB 51 spurs green real estate development


With the High Performance Building Act (S.B. 51) in effect as of September 1, 2007, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado today applauded the leadership by state government in spurring green real estate development in the public and private sectors, and further propelling Colorado’s burgeoning sustainable economy.

“Just as Amendment 37 and its renewable portfolio standard encouraged development of a new energy economy in Colorado,” said Jeanne Beaudry, Executive Director of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. “We believe SB 51 will help foster a growing economic opportunity for businesses in green building, energy efficiency and related industries.”

The High Performance Certification Program, the implementation policy for SB 51, requires state agencies or departments embarking upon a substantial renovation, design, or construction of a state-assisted facility of more than 5,000 square feet to pursue U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification. Additionally projects that receive at least 25% of their funding from the state must also pursue LEED Gold certification.

Green building strategies include recycled building materials, maximizing natural lighting in building design and installing energy saving appliances that can reduce overall energy use by 30 to 35 percent and up to 80 percent in some of the best performing buildings resulting in considerable long-term cost savings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased employee productivity.

Currently, US buildings account for 12 percent of water use, 40 percent of green house gas emissions, and 70 percent of electricity consumption according to the US Green Building Council. With this in mind, each LEED certified building provides on average of 30 to 50 percent in water savings, 30 percent in carbon reduction, and 30 percent in energy savings.

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado manages the AllianceCenter, which is one of only two buildings in the world to earn two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.

About The Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado (, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 2004 to advance sustainable policies in Colorado for present and future generations. The organization creates the vital links that build collaboration and coalitions among nonprofit organizations, socially responsible businesses, local government agencies and academia. The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado owns the AllianceCenter, one of the “greenest” buildings in the United States, with LEED Gold certification for ExistingBuildings and LEED Silver certification for Commercial Interiors. The Center provides office and meeting space to 30 nonprofit organizations that advocate for policies and programs that support sustainability.

By Dan Mahoney,


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