After losing homes to massive wildfire, Colorado residents slammed by cost of ‘green’ building codes

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

Victims of a massive December wildfire in Colorado may face massive price increases when rebuilding their homes due to new environmental building standards, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Entire neighborhoods near Boulder were swallowed up in the wildfire, causing more than $500,000,000 in damages and destroying 1,084 homes, according to the AP.

Victims told AP it would cost tens of thousands of dollars more to build their homes under strict new “green” construction standards imposed by the city council in Louisville, a town near Boulder, Colorado that was hit hard by the Dec. 20 wildfire.

“I understand that in this circumstance, it’s putting a lot of pressure on families,” commented Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann, who led the push for environmentally-conscious building codes, according to AP. “But the biggest sources of carbon emission in our state are from buildings and from transportation, and we are in a climate crisis.”

The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver said it would cost at least an extra $77,000 to build a home under the new rules, according to the AP.

The rules require new homes to have infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and either have all-electric appliances or be easily upgradable from natural gas, according to the AP. Construction will have to produce net-zero carbon emissions or homeowners must off-set their emissions through donations to a community solar garden.

More than 100 residents protested the codes outside city hall Sunday, according to AP.

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