Nearly 30 LEED certified projects certified in 2010
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Denver is on the forefront of the green building revolution, with almost 30 projects that have achieved LEED certification since 2010, two of which have achieved the highest platinum rating.
“Colorado’s culture of sustainability and conservation are part of its DNA; individual cities like Denver clearly understand the importance of green building as a part of that culture,” says Deb Kleinman, executive director of U.S. Green building council‘s Colorado Chapter. “From the largest commercial buildings to schools and universities to individual homes, Denver is embracing LEED and its comprehensive approach and process for green building.”
Building sustainable structures is critical to any larger strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of all CO2 emissions, 40 percent of al energy consumption, 13 percent of water consumption and 15 percent of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
There are approximately 230 LEED certified and registered projects in Denver. Notable newly certified projects in 2010 include the Wells Fargo Center; Legacy Plaza, home of Gates’ Corporation’s world headquarters; the prominent Colorado Convention Center; and Denver Public Schools’ Evie Garrett Dennis E-12 Campus. Xcel Energy’s new headquarters, 1800 Larimer, and the Group14 (formerly Enermodal Reilly) office both achieved LEED Platinum.
In the first month of 2011, three buildings in the Denver Metro Area were certified, including the Auraria Science Building, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment building and Colorado Center Tower Two.
“The LEED green building program sets the benchmark for what is possible with high-performing buildings,” says Scot Horst, senior vice president of the LEED program. “Denver has been a pioneer in the green building efforts, setting examples and showcasing new innovation with its many LEED projects.”
Denver has been a longtime supporter of green building initiatives and legislation. In 2006, it was the host of the USGBC”s annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo and the following year, then Mayor John W. Hickenlooper enacted Executive Order 123, requiring new municipal building construction over 5,000 square feet to earn LEED Silver. Mayor Hickenlooper was also a member of the USGBC’s Mayors’ Alliance for Green Schools, a coalition of mayors seeking to promote the benefits of green schools in their cities and towns.
“Seeing former Mayor Hickenlooper now in the Governor’s chair is a testament to his leadership,” added Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair of the green building council. “He continues to be a supporter and leader in green building initiatives.”
USGBC’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings. Over 40,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 7.9 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 117 countries. In addition, nearly 10,000 homes have been certified under the LEED for Homes rating system, with nearly 45,000 more homes registered.