University of Colorado athletics complex has highest possible green rating

The University of Colorado Athletics Complex earned top honors recently from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), receiving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating, the highest possible USGBC ranking. LEED is the preeminent rating system for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, and the University of Colorado’s Athletics Complex marks Populous’ first project to receive a LEED Platinum rating for green building excellence.

“It’s a goal for Populous to be environmentally conscious on all of our projects, and achieving sustainability at a LEED Platinum level takes a team effort,” said Scott Radecic, Senior Principal at Populous. “Not only did we achieve something that few other athletic facilities have, but we’ve created a sustainable gathering space for the greater Boulder community.”

Opened in early 2016, the $160 million expansion and renovation achieved its LEED Platinum rating by combining flexible, 365-day a year usability with water conservation methods associated with Boulder Creek, extensive use of locally sourced and recycled materials, solar roof panels and other energy-saving practices, resulting in 49 percent energy cost savings. To focus on waste reduction, all drinking fountains in the Athletics Complex offer water bottle filling stations and all restrooms feature 100 percent recycled and composted waste products. The water bottle filling stations alone resulted in a significant decrease in the number of plastic water bottles used on campus.

The University of Colorado’s Athletic Complex is comprised of Folsom Field, an Indoor Practice Facility, the Dal Ward Athletic Center and the Champions Center. Each facility was renovated with water and waste saving features. The signature 850-kilowatt solar panels are located on the roof of the Indoor Practice Facility. These solar panels offset all energy use of the Indoor Practice Facility and 28 percent of the Athletic Complex’s overall usage.

The 2016 Athletic Complex expansion and renovation includes new locker rooms, a weight room and academic spaces for the Dal Ward Athletic Center, premium seating additions and the Touchdown Club for Folsom Field, a state-of-the-art sports medicine and sports center with the Champions Center and the climate-controlled Indoor Practice Facility. The new Athletics Complex provides student-athletes and the greater Boulder community with amenities and resources that are second to none in the PAC-12.

The University of Colorado Athletics Complex is one of numerous Populous-designed facilities to achieve a LEED rating of Gold or above. T-Mobile ArenaICC Sydney, Georgetown University’s Thompson Center and the University of Utah’s Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Basketball Facility all received LEED Gold certification in the last year.