Green building in Boulder County Colorado starts with planning based on foresight: the County's Comprehensive Plan outlines a long-term vision, including goals and policies. The plan addresses everything from open space and transportation to cultural resources, economics and housing. In 2007, the Boulder County Planning Commission amended the Comprehensive Plan to include a Sustainability Element.
In early 2008 Boulder County adopted BuildSmart, a green building program for new residential construction. The BuildSmart Program sets mandatory requirements and optional recommendations to improve energy efficiency, conserve water and resources and reduce waste generated by new construction and additions. Program elements have been incorporated into the Boulder County Building Code, with the first elements starting in May 2008. The program was updated in April 2010.
In addition to BuildSmart, Boulder County is working to establish programs to help local businesses strive for LEED standards and sustainable development. One such program is the Facilities Managers Network, a countywide group consisting of the facilities managers of various large businesses and organizations who are working together to explore ways to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the "carbon footprint" of their respective organizations.