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Volume 59, Issue 1

August, 2009

UCCS Science and Engineering Building earns gold for efficiency and innovation

The Science and Engineering Building at UCCS earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council within a few days of its formal dedication ceremonies

LEED is the Green Building Council’s rating system for designing and constructing, energy efficient and high-performing green buildings. UCCS officials received notice Aug. 11 that the design of the largest and newest building at UCCS is an efficiency leader. The building was dedicated Aug. 6 before more than 500 faculty, staff and state-wide leaders.

“This award is significant because it shows what can be done when the design and construction industries and government work together,” Brian Burnett, vice chancellor, Administration and Finance said. “The university’s commitment to green building principles was aided by experts in the building industry as well as by state government. We are proud to be a leader in green building in southern Colorado with two LEED-certified buildings completed and two more projects seeking LEED certification under construction.”

In its 159,000 square feet ,the Science and Engineering Building houses departments of biology, physics, mechanical and aerospace engineering as well as the CU Institute for Bioenergetics and the National Institute for Science, Space and Security Centers. The building features classrooms, offices, laboratories and a K-12 Center to assist teachers and to encourage youngsters to consider careers in science and technical study.

The Science and Engineering building has numerous energy and environment-saving features including thin-film solar panels, a heating system that recovers exhaust from laboratories, an ice storage system that saves air conditioning costs, high-efficiency windows, energy efficient lighting with occupancy sensors, water saving fixtures, and extensive use of low-chemical paints, adhesives, sealant, carpet and wood products. UCCS submitted items totaling 40 LEED points and received all.

Linda Kogan, director, Office of Sustainability, said the building is designed to be one-third more energy efficient than a comparable base-line building, saving thousands of dollars annually.

“This building is our best example yet of a living laboratory with a self-guided green tour, cut-out windows to mechanical rooms, and an interactive touch screen that highlights LEED points achieved as well as real time energy and solar data.”

Data about energy savings can be accessed at

The project received two grants from the Governor’s Energy Office which were used to install the thin-film solar panels and to assist in planning efforts. Architectural Energy Corporation, Boulder, assisted with the LEED process. GH Phipps, Greenwood Village, served as the general contractor. AR7, Denver, was the building’s architect.

The Science and Engineering Building is the second UCCS building to achieve gold certified LEED status. The first, the Campus Recreation Center, was certified in Jan. 2009. The recreation center opened in Aug. 2007.

For more about the certification process, visit

To hear Tom Christensen explain the public art in the building, see photos of the building dedication ceremony and get additional facts about the building, click here.

LEED Gold Certified

For more about the certification process, visit

To hear Tom Christensen explain the public art in the building, see photos of the building dedication ceremony and get additional facts about the building, click here.


Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at, and the current issue is always at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to or call Tom Hutton, 255-3439.

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