- The Alliance Center is a sustainable, historic LoDo building.
- The Alliance Center is raising the green bar, with LEED Dynamic Plaque system.
- The Alliance Center will be able to monitor where it stands sustainability with the Plaque system.
The Alliance Center in LoDo will soon be the first building in Colorado to use the cutting edge technology of a sustainability “speedometer” of sorts.
The LEED Dynamic Plaque system will monitor and score the energy used in the 108-year-old building at 1536 Wynkoop St.
Incorporating the system is another sustainability feather in the cap of the building at 1536 Wynkoop St.
The Alliance Center, where 175 work on six floors and 40,000 square feet, already is the first historic building to be certified with two LEED designations by the U.S. Green Building Council and next year it expected to receive a Platinum LEED certification by the USGBC.
LEED Dynamic Plaque, also part of the USGBC, differs from the other LEED designations.
“They are mutually exclusive,” said Anna Zawisza, executive director of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, which owns and operates the Alliance Center.
The LEED Dynamic Plaque provides landlords, tenants and guests with a high-tech measuring stick to view energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience on an ongoing basis.
Electronic screen displays can make checking the green health of a building as easy as checking the temperature.
The LEED Dynamic Plaque generates a current performance score (out of 100), which is updated whenever new building data enters the platform.
In collaboration with USGBC, the nonprofit national organization that also manages the LEED green building rating system, data from The Alliance Center will upload to an online system that generates an up-to-the minute LEED performance score.
“When we first started going down this path, we thought it would be real-time information,” but some of the information will be based on monthly and quarterly data, Zawisza said.
However, the information is crucial for understanding how energy is being consumed and how it can be conserved, she said.
“I compare it to a speedometer is a car,” Zawisza said. “Imagine how many tickets you would get for speeding if you didn’t know how fast you were going.”
It only costs about an initial $1,500 to install the system, a fraction of the cost of a LEED certification, she said.
The information will rank the building at what level it is performing in by category.
“We might be a Platinum LEED building but at different times in different areas we might be a Silver, Gold or Platinum,” Zawisza said.
“For example, during the winter, when more people drive to work, we might be Silver for transportation, but during the summer, when more people take their bikes to work, we might be Platinum for transportation,” Zawisza said.
That is important for tenants, people touring the Alliance Center and for prospective tenants, she said. The building can handle an addition 75 people, at which time it will be at its full occupancy of 250.
“People might realize that they need to unplug their laptops or not keep the water running when scraping off a dish in a sink,” Zawisza said.
The LEED Dynamic Plaque system could go a long way to showing people how they can save money and energy, she said.
“I think we definitely do not use our buildings optimally,” Zawisza said.
“I am always amazed when I drive downtown at night how many buildings are fully lit. We need to stop lighting, heating and cooling vacant offices. I think every commercial building downtown should have the LEED Dynamic Plaque, or something similar, installed.”
Scot Horst, Chief Product Officer at USGBC, agrees.
“The LEED Dynamic Plaque is the future of building performance, and the Alliance Center is in on the ground floor of this technology,” Host said.
“They’re spurring meaningful change for their peers and the industry as a whole,” he added.
“We are excited to see how the LEED Dynamic Plaque enables the Alliance Center to monitor, benchmark and improve their performance,” according to Host.
“Buildings account for close to 50 percent of our energy usage and contribute as much to greenhouse gas emissions,” Zawisza noted.
“If we can make our built environment more efficient, we reduce both consumption and emissions,” she said.
“The LEED Dynamic Plaque will help us identify areas for improvement, which in turn will reduce our building’s pollution and make our community healthier,” she said.
Buildings in other areas of the country are seeing significant results.
For example, after using the LEED Dynamic Plaque for one year, USGBC experienced a decrease in energy consumption by 30 percent, resulting in approximately $40,000 savings.
“We are hopeful this technology will educate our tenants and guests about their energy usage, reduce our building’s carbon footprint and save money,” Zawisza said.
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