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Posted on: April 13, 2022

Aspen City Council Approves Building IQ Ordinance


Aspen City Council Approves Building IQ Ordinance
A City of Aspen Climate Action Program in Partnership with CORE 



Jami McMannes, Communications Manager, City of Aspen, 970-765-4752,

Mac Scott, Director of Marketing and Engagement, CORE, 970-925-9775, ext. 1007, Mac Scott

Aspen, Colo. – Wednesday, April 13, 2022 – Aspen City Council voted 5-0 to approve the Building IQ program to help the City of Aspen reach its science-based targets for reducing community greenhouse gas emissions. The ordinance applies to commercial and multifamily buildings within city limits and includes two components: energy benchmarking and building performance standards. The City of Aspen joins more than 40 communities nationwide that have benchmarking programs and eight communities with a building performance standard (BPS) policy.

“Because buildings account for 57% of Aspen’s emissions, this program is essential in our Race to Zero pledge and fight against climate change,” stated Tessa Schreiner, Climate Action Manager at the City of Aspen. “After designing the benchmarking component of Building IQ alongside key community stakeholders and experts, the program got put on hold during the pandemic. In August 2021, Aspen City Council set a new climate goal, and reaffirmed the need for significant action in the building sector to reduce carbon emissions. Building IQ directly addresses emissions from the built environment and will help us reduce emissions 63% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. We are thrilled to bring this program to the community, partner with building owners, and work to reach shared goals.”

The ordinance, effective June 1, 2022, will first focus on benchmarking, an annual process where buildings track and report their energy and water consumption over time. The simple act of benchmarking can decrease energy use by 2-3% per year. Deadlines for benchmarking will start in June 2022 for municipal buildings, December 2022 for commercial buildings 20,000 square feet and larger, and will apply to smaller buildings in the coming years, although all buildings are welcome to start at any time. The second phase, a building performance standard (BPS), requires property owners to meet performance targets by actively improving their buildings over time. The details of this phase will be designed through stakeholder engagement and defined by fall 2023.

The program implementation will be led by a local nonprofit, Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) which will be responsible for supporting building owners and managers through every step of the process.  

“We are delighted to partner with the City of Aspen on Building IQ,” stated Katie Schwoerer, Chair of CORE's board of directors. “Benchmarking empowers building owners to make capital improvements that benefit their businesses and the climate. Buildings are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the city, and CORE has the expertise to put data to work identifying the most impactful solutions for lowering energy consumption.”

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About the City of Aspen:
The City of Aspen’s mission is to engage with positive civil dialogue, provide the highest quality innovative and efficient municipal services, steward the natural environment, and support a healthy and sustainable community for the benefit of future generations with respect for the work of our predecessors. The City provides support services to the community by convening resources and empowering conversations about what affects those who work, live, and play in Aspen. 


About CORE: 
Since 1994, CORE has been helping Roaring Fork Valley residents save energy and cut carbon emissions to mitigate climate change. The nonprofit organization was created by a group of visionary citizens, local governments and utilities that came together nearly 30 years ago to conserve natural resources. From the outset, CORE established itself as an innovative leader, breaking ground with the nation’s first carbon mitigation fee, Colorado’s first wind energy project and one of the earliest solar rebate programs in the US. CORE’s mission is to lead the upper Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net-zero energy future.


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