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CU Boulder Earns 3 LEED Platinum Certifications for Athletic Facilities

School Construction News

Solar array on top of the athletic practice facility taken during 2016 aerial photography over Boulder and the CU Bouder campus. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Solar array on top of the athletic practice facility taken during 2016 aerial photography over Boulder and the CU Boulder campus. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

BOULDER, Colo. — Three athletic buildings at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU) were certified in fall 2017 with the highest possible LEED rating — LEED Platinum. With this latest certification by the USGBC, CU now has 25 buildings certified LEED Gold or better, either for new construction or major renovations.

The three buildings that were certified LEED Platinum include the 212,000-square-foot Champions Center, the 109,000-square-foot net-zero-energy Indoor Practice Facility (IPF) and extensive renovations done to the Dal Ward Athletic Center. All three of the athletic buildings were included in a CU athletic department facilities upgrade project that arrived at completion in 2016. All three buildings were LEED Platinum–certified by early December 2017, raising the total number of LEED Platinum buildings at CU to 10.

Completion of the new Champions Center brought a new home for CU athletics administration, the CU football program, Olympic sports, the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center as well as the Champions Club. The IPF is a climate-controlled facility and includes a full football field as well as a six-lane, 300-meter track. Upgrades to the Dal Ward Athletic Center feature new locker rooms and a new weight room for CU Olympic sports, a new room for the Herbst Academic Center and the Touchdown Club room. The Champions Center as well as the Dal Ward construction also included the addition of a pair of premium seating areas at Folsom Field.

“Achieving LEED Platinum for a project of this magnitude is a testament to the work and collaboration of several campus departments and partners,” said David Kang, vice chancellor for infrastructure and safety at CU in a recent statement. “Athletics has been a key driver of campus efforts to be a leader in sustainability, and this project is a shining example of that.”

The three-buildings project was led by Denver-based Mortenson Construction and Populous — a Denver-based architecture firm — as a joint design-build venture. Noresco, an energy services company based in Boulder, Colo., provided sustainability consulting services on the project. Construction on the project began in 2014, with different aspects of the project opening in 2015 and 2016 before its final completion at the end of 2016.

The most noteworthy sustainability feature of the athletic facilities upgrade project is the 850-kilowatt solar array that sits atop the IPF, with an estimated annual production of more than 1 million kilowatt hours. All of the energy use of the IPF — including 28 percent of the overall usage by the Athletics facilities upgrades — is offset by the impressive solar array.

Read the full story here.

CU Boulder Hosts K-12 Students to Connect Climate and Sports

CU Boulder Today

On Dec. 13, the CU Environmental Center hosted a Climate & Sports Student Summit on the CU Boulder campus. Climate & Sports Student Summits (CSSS) is a national nonprofit whose mission is to “create spaces where youth can be inspired by professional athletes, the sports culture and each other to become sustainable change agents in their communities.”

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Over 80 local elementary, middle and high school students from Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain School District experienced an action-packed day of education and inspiration at the CU Recreation Center, a LEED Platinum-certified building and one of CU’s greenest facilities.

Boulder-based professional climber, adventure athlete and National Geographic explorer Matt Segal shared stories of his climate and science adventures with students. Youth climate organizers such as Ruby Rorty, a high school student and founder of the Santa Cruz Environmental Alliance, shared their paths to climate action with their peers.

“It’s so magical to see the energy and excitement the students take from seeing the amazing things that young people like themselves have been able to accomplish. The athletes get so much out of seeing the students’ enthusiasm, and the students are so inspired to see that their role models care so much about climate change,” said Linda Gancitano, summit organizer and former USA women’s soccer team member.

As part of the Green Sports Alliance Summit last summer, CSSS created similar summits for K-12 students in Miami, Florida, with the Miami Heat and in Sacramento, California, with the Sacramento Kings.

Read the full story.

3 Athletics Buildings Score LEED Platinum for Green Building Excellence

CU Boulder Today

2017.12.13-NewsFeed-CU Boulder LEED-IMAGE

Photo Credit: CU Boulder

Three CU Boulder buildings that were part of the recent Athletics facilities upgrades, including the net-zero-energy Indoor Practice Facility, have been awarded LEED Platinum status by the United States Green Building Council.

The 212,000-square-foot Champions Center, the 109,000-square-foot Indoor Practice Facility (IPF) and extensive renovations to the Dal Ward Athletic Center were all included in the Athletic Department project, which was completed in 2016. The latest LEED recognition brings to 25 the total number of CU Boulder buildings certified LEED Gold or better, including 10 LEED Platinum, either for new construction or major renovations.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building, with certification ensuring electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthy work environments. There are four levels of certification, with Platinum being the highest.

“Achieving LEED Platinum for a project of this magnitude is a testament to the work and collaboration of several campus departments and partners,” said CU Boulder Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure and Safety David Kang. “Athletics has been a key driver of campus efforts to be a leader in sustainability, and this project is a shining example of that.”

Construction of the Champions Center provided a new home for CU Athletics administration, the football program, Olympic sports, the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center and the Champions Club. The climate-controlled IPF includes a full football field and a six-lane, 300-meter track that is utilized by nearly every sport. The Dal Ward upgrades, meanwhile, included locker rooms and a new weight room for CU Olympic Sports, new spaces for the Herbst Academic Center and the Touchdown Club Room. The Champions Center and Dal Ward construction also included the addition of a pair of premium seating areas at Folsom Field.

“These state-of-the-art facilities have proven transformational to the success of our Athletic Department,” said CU Boulder Athletic Director Rick George. “We’re proud that sustainability was at the forefront in the way they were built and how we use them every day.”

Read the full story here.

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