Colorado’s C4C is LEED Platinum

Published on June 28th, 2012

The Centerbrook designed Center for Community at the University of Colorado at Boulder has earned a LEED Platinum rating, the highest possible designation from the United States Green Building Council. It is the firm’s third project to be certified platinum.

LEED certification is a measure of sustainable building design and construction. The $84.4 million Center for Community (C4C), with 317,000 gross square feet, is about 30 percent more energy and water efficient than modern code-compliant buildings of the same size and function.

C4C opened in the fall of 2010 and is anchored by a 900-seat dining hall that offers fare at nine micro-restaurants -- including Asian, Italian, halal and kosher-compliant dishes -- and serves more than 5,500 meals per day. The center also is home base for 12 student support offices, such as Career Services.

More than 50 percent of construction materials for the Center for Community came from sources located less than 500 miles away, and more than 75 percent of construction waste was recycled, diverting it from landfills. Elements of the building that contribute to its efficiency include the use of LED lights, energy-saving kitchen appliances, solar reflective roof shingles, and low-flow water fixtures and faucet aerators. The building is cooled with an evaporative cooling system, which uses less energy than traditional mechanical systems. Also, the installation of solar panels that produce 100 kilowatt-hours of energy at a time was recently completed. The panels are enough to power 20 average-sized houses.

Partner Jim Childress was the lead project architect, heading the Centerbrook design team that collaborated with Davis Partnership Architects of Denver. The foodservice design was done by Baker Group of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The building took just 15 months to construct.

Centerbrook has designed 21 projects to LEED standards; its other LEED Platinum projects are Kroon Hall at Yale University (with Hopkins Architects) and Health Care REIT in Ohio (with Duket Architect Planners).