CU’s new ATLAS Building has been awarded a “Gold Rating” for its environmentally-friendly design by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program.
The ATLAS building is the first building on the CU campus to get the gold rating from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a nonprofit run by a coalition of environmental and governmental organizations.
“What this does is helps us have a reduced per-square-foot electrical use on campus, and meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Rob Hall, the energy program manager of CU’s Environmental Center. “Any time we can take advantage of new construction to reduce our energy use, it’s better than going back and retrofitting buildings to reduce energy, which is always more expensive.”
LEED classifies buildings built to conserve energy into gold, silver and platinum categories, Hall said. The gold rating is LEED’s highest category, meaning it is superior in conserving energy.
“We aim for meeting LEED requirements on all new buildings,” Hall said. “But we may not get everything registered because that’s an extra expense we don’t want to take.”
According to a July press release from ATLAS contractors DTJ design, environmentally-friendly amenities in the building include steam heat from the power plant across the street, water-free urinals and low-flow water fixtures, evaporative cooling and use of recycled and environmentally-friendly building materials.