Science and Engineering earns design award

Citation as reported by the Colorado Sustainable Design Award

Architect: AR7 Architects

The Science and Engineering Building, located on the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus, consists of new classroom, laboratory, research and office spaces. Initially, the university’s goal was to obtain a LEED-certified building; the design team delivered a building that achieved LEED Gold, in part by a design that reduced energy costs by 31 percent (when compared with baseline standards).

Sustainable features

  • Water-conserving flush and flow fixtures – including waterless urinals, dual-flush water closets, low-flow lavatories, showers and sinks – are predicted to reduce potable water consumption by 42 percent compared to a standard code-compliant building.
  • Outside, the use of high-efficiency irrigation technologies along with water conserving plant species reduce potable water demand for irrigation by 59 percent compared to a conventional landscape design typical of the area.
  • The mechanical cooling plant consists of variable speed chillers with environmentally friendly refrigerant, premium efficiency variable speed pumps, and ice storage tanks. At night when the air is cool and electric utility rates are low, the chillers build ice in the tanks
  • On the roof, a 2,300-square-foot thin film photovoltaic panel system produces about 26,000 kilowatt hours per year for the building.
  • Recycling and storage areas are placed throughout the building, accessible to all building occupants. In addition, the construction team salvaged or diverted from the landfill 97 percent of all construction waste.

Judges’ comments
“Here’s a project that includes a bit of everything – strong building design with thoughtful architecture, passive shading that allows daylight to penetrate, and nighttime ice storage that makes good use of peak electricity use. It’s a built-to-last structure that features quality building materials but nothing fancy. It also demonstrates a strong link to the education system – an engineering building that is smartly engineered in every way.”

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