Boulder, Colo.― The new East District Energy Plant (EDEP) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) recently earned LEED Gold certification, the second-to-highest attainable LEED certification level. The project was certified through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) system. The RMH Group (RMH) served as the project’s mechanical/electrical engineer and LEED consultant, and LOA Architecture served as the project’s architect. Opened in 2014, the EDEP generates steam and chilled water for much of CU Boulder’s Main Campus and serves as the headquarters for the university’s Utility and Energy Services division.
By applying a variety of innovative technologies, the project team was able to realize a projected 41 percent water reduction and 25 percent energy cost savings compared with industry standards. To achieve this level of energy savings, a number of sustainable strategies were implemented including underfloor air distribution and energy recovery. In addition, 80 percent of construction materials was diverted from landfills, 20 percent of construction materials utilized recycled products and 20 percent of construction materials was sourced from within 500 miles of the site.
The EDEP building was constructed as part of an overall campus utility infrastructure upgrade for CU Boulder’s main campus. In addition to building the new EDEP, this overall project involved renovating CU Boulder’s historic Powerhouse (to become the West District Energy Plant or WDEP) and interconnecting the two plants (EDEP and WDEP) with new and upgraded distribution. The project satisfied CU Boulder’s objectives to safely and reliably meet the growing critical utility (chilled water, steam, electricity) needs on the main campus, all while staying within an established budget, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, conserving natural resources, minimizing impacts to campus activities and preserving the campus’ beauty.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building, with certification ensuring electricity cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthy work environments.
Established in 1961, The RMH Group is a mechanical and electrical engineering and industrial facilities design firm based in Lakewood, Colorado. Over its 56-year history, the firm has served clients throughout the U.S. and is a recognized leader in low-energy-use, high-performance building system design.
Since 1985, LOA Architecture has been recognized for excellence in the design, planning, and management of a diverse range of projects, serving educational, institutional, civic, residential and commercial clients throughout the Denver Metro and Rocky Mountain region.
RMH information is available at www.rmhgroup.com.