The Final Review

Burnham’s Blog

The Final Review shares the knowledge of Burnham’s experts in building permit expediting and code compliance. Learn about different jurisdictional building permit requirements, and stay up-to-date on the Americans with Disabilities Act and local accessibility standards. Follow the latest in sustainability, including building energy codes and sustainability design developments.

Denver Bans “Slot Home” Design to Prioritize Human-Scale Development

Jul 24, 2018 10:30:00 AM

In May 2018, the Denver City Council voted to ban “slot homes” in an unanimous vote. The residential design is an unusual type of multi-family construction, most often featuring two separate structured situated around a narrow driveway, mews, or pedestrian walkway that forms the “slot.” 

Though the design bears a passing resemblance to courtyard apartment buildings such as the ones prevalent in Chicago, slot homes are constructed around much narrower space than courtyard buildings with entrances cut off from the street. Though they are prevalent throughout the City of Denver, they are most common in the West Colfax, Jefferson Park, Highland, Five Points, Sunnyside, Berkeley, and Cherry Creek neighborhoods. image via CARTA at CU Denver

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What Does Denver’s Progressive New Green Roof Ordinance Require?

Nov 28, 2017 10:30:00 AM

On November 8th, voters in the City of Denver passed an ordinance mandating environmentally-friendly roofing for all large new construction as well as requiring that many existing buildings be retrofitted with these same “green roofs” - either rooftop gardens or solar panels - on a percentage of the roof.

Developed by the Denver Green Roof Initiative (the Initiative), the ordinance started as a grassroots movement and is now the most stringent rooftop requirement in the United States, surpassing San Francisco’s “Better Roofs.” While other cities, such as the City of Chicago, also have rooftop garden and green roof ordinances, these usually offer incentives to developers to add environmentally-friendly rooftop coverings and are not code requirements. 

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Denver’s Development Strategies Focus on Sustainability, Population Growth

Sep 12, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As City of Denver’s metro-area population growth continues, the need for more housing with access to transportation and walkable amenities remains a priority. However, the City is also contending with planning for a sustainable and resilient city by avoiding sprawl due to population increase. Previously profiled in a recent urban planning overview, in this post, we’ll further examine some of the ways that the City of Denver is approaching these challenges and how strategic planning can benefit mid- and large-sized cities growing similarly across the country.

image credit: Aditya Chinchure

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Changes to Denver’s Permit Processes Promote Efficiency

Jul 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Earlier this year, the City of Denver unveiled changes to their permitting processing within the City’s Community Planning and Development Department (CPDD) and Development Services Department (DSD). The updates affect commercial building permitting and expedite application submittals by combining some eligible Zoning and Building Code Reviews into a concurrent process. Detailed below, the City of Denver’s changes offer new procedures for obtaining necessary permits more quickly for projects of all complexities, sizes, and scopes.

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Evolving Colorado Construction Defect Laws: Latest Critical Changes

Jul 6, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Colorado’s problematic construction defect laws have recently seen some important developments. It has been difficult to strike a balance between protecting the rights of homeowners and the interests of developers and other construction professionals. Stakeholders have been working over the last several years to reform Colorado’s construction defect laws, blamed for reducing the building of much-needed housing in the state. A new statutory amendment and recent court decision may ease some of the pressure felt by the construction industry.

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