Green Denver adds 30 LEED buildings

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The U.S. Green Building Council announced on Monday that almost 30 projects in Denver have achieved LEED green building certification since 2010 and two of these developments achieved LEED’s highest rating, Platinum.

 

“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,” saids Deb Kleinman, executive director of USGBC 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.”

There are approximately 230 LEED-certified and registered projects in Denver. Notable newly certified projects in 2010 include:

  • Wells Fargo Center
  • Legacy Plaza, home of Gates’ Corp.’s world headquarters
  • Colorado Convention Center
  • 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 area were certified, including the:

  • Auraria Science building
  • Colorado Department of Labor and Employment building
  • Colorado Center Tower Two.

“The LEED green building program sets the benchmark for what is possible with high-performing buildings,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED, USGBC. “Denver has been a pioneer in the green building efforts, setting examples and showcasing new innovations with its many LEED projects.”

History of green

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. Hickenlooper, now Colorado’s governor, 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.

Hick praised

“Seeing former Mayor Hickenlooper now in the Governor’s chair is a testament to his leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair, USGBC. “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 more than 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.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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