The General Classroom Building at Colorado State University-Pueblo has received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The university says the three-story 40,000-square-foot facility, which opened in fall 2015, was designed and constructed to save 35 percent more in energy costs than a building designed just to code. More than 80 percent of the construction materials were recycled on the job site and flooring, drywall, and ceiling tiles in the building all include recycled content.
Water-saving plumbing fixtures were installed, and indoor water use was reduced by 38 percent compared with a similar building designed to code. An existing campus solar array provides about 15 percent of the building’s electricity.
“It is gratifying to see our sustainability efforts recognized, particularly during Earth Month,” says university president Timothy Mottet. “With this construction, we sought to meet the needs of our students, while also bringing awareness to Earth-friendly practices.”
The building has classrooms of varied sizes and types to encourage an active learning process, as well as faculty and staff support offices and conferencing space. Student-oriented breakout and small group meeting areas and workrooms provide more space options.
The facility is situated to the west of the primary campus academic spine, and the design strived to integrate the building with the rest of the campus.
In Colorado, state-funded higher education buildings are required to be designed and built to LEED Gold standard. The General Classroom Building exceeded that standard with its Platinum certification, the highest level in the LEED rating system.
Other facilities on the Pueblo campus have incorporated sustainable strategies into their design and construction. The Library and Academic Resource Building received LEED Platinum certification in 2013, and the renovation of the Occhiato University Center is on track to receive LEED Gold certification.
The architect for the General Classroom Building is Hord Coplan Macht and the builder is GH Phipps.