Nearly 30 projects in Denver have achieved LEED green building certification since 2010 and two of these developments achieved LEED's highest rating, Platinum, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). USGBC says 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 Corp.'s world headquarters; the Colorado Convention Center; and Denver Public Schools' Evie Garrett Dennis E-12 Campus. Xcel Energy's new headquarters, and the Group14 (formerly Enermodal Reilly) office both achieved LEED Platinum, too.
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.
“Colorado's culture of sustainability and conservation are part of its DNA,” says Deb Kleinman, executive director of USGBC's Colorado Chapter. “Individual cities like Denver clearly understand the importance of green building as a part of that culture. 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.”
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, former 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. More than 40,000 projects are now 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.
Need more green news? Check out G-Biz, a free e-mail newsletter published twice-a-month by the editors of Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Construction and Maintenance magazine. You can subscribe by visiting www.ewweb.com and clicking on the “G-Biz” link in the left column.