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High Performance Certification Program

What is a high performance building?

A high performance building is energy efficient, has low short-term and long-term life-cycle costs, is a healthy place for its occupants, and has a relatively low impact on the environment. High performance buildings use key resources, such as energy, water, materials, and land, much more efficiently than buildings simply built to code or through a standard design process. If you are planning on applying for a BEST grant and asking for more than 25% of the total funding for your project to come from the State, you may be required to comply with the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP).

HPCP means a building renovation, design, and construction standard that:

  • Is quantifiable, measurable, add verifiable by an independent third party (USGBC, and eventually CHPS)
  • Reducing the operating cost of state-assisted facilities by reducing the consumption of energy, water, and other resources
  • Results in the recovery of the increased initial capital costs over time by reducing long-term energy, maintenance, and operating costs
  • Improves the indoor environmental quality
  • Encourages the use of products harvested, created, or mined in Colorado
  • Protects Colorado’s environment
  • Complies with standards for treatment of historic properties

A State-assisted facility is a facility constructed or renovated in whole or in part with state funds:

  • Substantially renovated, designed, or constructed with at least 25% state funds
  • Includes a HVAC system
  • Has not entered into the design phase prior to 01-01-2008
  • The Office of the State Architect adopts and updates the HPSCP

CDE is to achieve the highest performance certification possible:

  • A certification is defined as obtainable if the increased initial cost of the project, including the value of money, can be recouped for decreased operational costs within 15 years
  • If the increased initial cost can’t be recouped within 15 years, an accredited professional shall assert in writing that the substantial renovation has been consistent with the HPSCP to the greatest extent possible

If the applicant estimates that the increased cost will exceed 5% of the total cost of the project, the Division staff will examine the estimate upon receiving a grant application.

If the project is less than 5,000 sq.ft., it is subject to HPCP. However, certification may not be required.

How do you design a high performing school?

The design process starts with cooperation among building owners, facility managers, users, designers, and construction professionals through a collaborative team approach. Each design decision regarding site orientation, window location and treatments, lighting, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, insulation, material selection, and controls must be integrated throughout the design, construction, and operation in order to create a high performance building.

  • The project considers the true cost of a building through the life-cycle assessment of each individual building component
  • The project is developed to minimize demolition and construction wastes
  • The project will use products that minimize waste in their production or disposal
  • The building can be easily reconfigured and reused as the use of the building changes
  • The process will educate building occupants and users to the philosophies, strategies, and controls included in the design, construction, and maintenance of the project

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