New Denver Building Code Requires Electric Vehicle Support

The Denver City Council approved some major changes to the city’s building codes on March 10 that include a mandate to make garages of single-family homes and duplexes capable of installing charging stations for electric vehicle (EV) support.

Charging Station Installation Process

Installing charging stations to existing structures requires running new conduit and wiring to the outlet, a process that could involve burying pipe and breaking into walls. The new code requires builders to install conduit from the electrical panel to a point in the garage where a charging station can be installed. It doesn’t require a charger, simply the provision for one that can be easily added by pulling the necessary wiring through existing conduit.

Mike Salisbury of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project told the Denver Post, "What this tries to do is make sure it's easy and inexpensive for a new homeowner (to install) a new charging station."

An electric car charging station in the garage of a Castle Rock home.
2006-2008 $50 Gold American Buffalo – First Strike

Code Changes to Help Ease Renovation Process

Other changes to the building and fire codes are meant to ease rules and costs to make it easier for property owners to renovate older buildings rather than tear them down; a requirement for garages and residential outbuildings is to be on the same meter as the main home. The latter change is intended to make it less likely that those buildings would be rented out for illegal marijuana grow operations.

Denver Updates Comply with 2015 International Code Council Guidelines

Most of the code changes update the Denver codes (last changed in 2011) to a 2015 revision of the International Code Council's guidelines, which serve as an industry standard. While not part of the guidelines, the EV provision has been incorporated in several other cities recently; the outbuilding metering requirement addresses a home-grown Colorado issue.

The new building code takes full effect in six months. Meanwhile, contractors and residents will be able to pull permits under the 2011 code, if they choose.

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