From Boulder's website:
"Society is approaching a critical juncture in confronting the climate crisis, and the Boulder community has an important role to play...
As part of our effort to raise awareness of the need to improve our home resilience and to educate homeowners in the U.S on solutions to climate risks, we gather information on resilient actions, strategies, and challenges from key cities in the U.S.
In this blog, we focus on the city of Boulder, Colorado, and its climate resilience. Boulder is located within the Denver metropolitan area along the front range of the Rocky Mountains.
I spoke with Carolyn Elam, Energy program strategy manager in the city of Boulder, and with Christin Whitco, Former Energy Code Coordinator in Boulder. They specified the challenges and the efforts that the city of Boulder undertakes to adapt to a changing climate.
Boulder is working hard to tackle the various climate change impacts. City residents not only are exposed to climate risks, many experienced extreme events themselves.
Boulder adopts new building codes for energy every three years and general building codes every six years. The City’s website provides access to the relevant codes.
Boulder participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and requires homeowners in high-risk floodplains in flood zone Boulder Colorado to purchase it. Carolyn Elam mentions that the insurance for high risk flood area creates a significant financial burden on residents in those locations.
The City's Resilient Actions
Recommended Resilient Strategies
Following are examples of the city experts' recommended strategies that may help improve home resilience from the climate risks that threaten Boulder:
As previously mentioned, the city allocates roughly $40,000 in annual rebates for improving energy efficiency through the Energy Smart program for:
Generally, the city does not endorse building professionals, although Christin Whitco reassures that Boulder has a great architectural community available. Yet, you can find contractors in lists of programs that the city participates in:
Boulder keeps all risk-related information on its website and makes sure to refer the public to the relevant information. The website provides information on floods, including an interactive map of flood zones.
This information is available for people looking into making home improvements or purchasing a new home.
The city has aggressive plans for campaigns and education. It engages in marketing campaigns, including social media platforms such as Facebook and Nextdoor.
Residents can sign up to receive the city’s newsletter. The city distributes general news and information as well as specific topic newsletters.
Boulder also includes information and education regarding the water supply within the water utility bill.
Boulder faces many climate challenges. Some of them are noticeably becoming more extreme. For example, there is an increase in snowfall and its persistence before melting in recent years. Therefore, the city’s snow removal operation will need to be modified. If it was good enough to move the snow to the side of roads in the past, now there is a need to remove the snow altogether as it accumulates faster and in larger quantities. Similarly, Boulder continues to see increasing wildfire events and more consecutive high-temperature days, increasing the demand for centralized cooling solutions.
While Boulder has long been a leader in tackling climate change from the standpoint of reducing emissions, the challenges facing the community as the climate continues to change are ones that the city sees as requiring greater attention in the coming years. Carolyn Elam believes this is an area needing greater focus and notes it is one that the city is discussing with the council.
Yet, the city experts agree that with significant leadership in the design of sustainable buildings, and with proven success stories such as a 16% reduction in GHG emissions over the last 15 years and a 10% electricity use reduction for residential homes due to increased efficiency, the city’s challenges can be tackled.
Finally, what can residents do to improve the resilience of their homes, communities, and their city?
Sacramento Confronts Flood and Drought Risks2021-09-07
Collective Positive Impact2021-09-28
What is Climate Adaptation2021-09-12
How does the environment impact our homes2021-09-12
What is True Sustainability2021-09-15
Save on Resilience2021-09-22
eampact blogs, articles, service and product references are not intended for design, planning, purchasing and construction of homes. eampact is not an architect, engineer, contractor or product manufacturer, and does not practice or provide products, design or construction services. eampact blogs, articles, services and product references are for informational purposes only and are not intended for design, planning, purchasing and construction of homes, nor are they a substitute for consulting with professionals / professional advice.
eampact has not tested any of the products listed or mentioned in our blogs, nor do we recommend using them in your planned project/s. The products mentioned in our blogs and / or directory are a starting point for home developers and owners to get inspired by manufacturers that seem to design for resilience and go the extra mile to certify or test their products. However, it is your sole responsibility along with your service providers, consultants and hired professionals (architects, designers, contractors, engineers, realtor/developer) to evaluate and choose products for your projects.
eampact, its writers and publishers shall not be liable in the event of any consequential or incidental damages in connection with, or arising from, the use of the information contained within eampact's website, blogs, product listings, environmental data, forecasts and articles.
eampact, its writers and publishers, make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information contained in this website, blogs, product listings, environmental data, forecasts and articles.
The Content and the Marks in our Blog ("The Elements") are provided on the Site “AS IS” for your information and personal use only. Except as expressly provided in our Terms and Conditions, no part of the Site and no Content or Marks may be copied, reproduced, aggregated, republished, uploaded, posted, publicly displayed, encoded, translated, transmitted, distributed, sold, licensed, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose whatsoever, without our express prior written permission.
© Copyright 2022 eampact. All Rights Reserved.