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CU has a reputation for maintaining environmental sustainability, and the Student Recreation Center Renovation and Expansion Project is hoping to live up to it by making its green thumb a priority.
According to the Recreation Center’s website, the new Recreation Center will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certified.
In March 2000, the U.S. Green Building Council developed LEED.
“LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance,” according to the website.
According to the Student Recreation Center Renovation and Expansion Project Update issued on Sept. 14, LEED Gold Certification is the minimum requirement for laying the foundation of the ‘Buff up the Rec Project.’ The project budget includes more than $2,000,000 above this amount of construction dedicated to sustainability.
Co-Director of byDesign CK Dohrmann, a 49-year-old senior architecture major, said one of the best ways to save energy when designing a building is to focus on heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
“You don’t want to over design HVAC,” Dohrmann said. “You want to design it for each room because of different levels in air quality.”
Treasurer of the American Planning Association for Students Peter Spaulding, a 42-year-old senior architecture major, said different rooms need different HVAC systems. A pool deck and a basketball court, for example, may have the same ceiling height, but the air quality (humidity, temperature, etc.) is not the same.
Dohrmann said another way the Recreation Center can be sustainable, which can increase efficiency and lower utility costs, is by recycling water. Dohrmann said trapping solar and wind energy could also help the Recreation Center go green.
“We have a lot of sunlight and a lot of wind,” she said. “We should capture both.”
Building materials are also large consideration when designing a sustainable building. Dohrmann said she advises the designers to invest in local resources such as Structural Insulated Panels, or BioSIPs, which is an insulated building material made of 100 percent recycled paper products.
Julee Herdt, faculty adviser at the College of Architecture and Planning, developed and patented the material.
Spaulding and Dohrmann said they are disappointed the ‘Buff up the Rec Project’ committee has not asked the College of Architecture and Planning students for help in designing the new building.
Spaulding said it would be a great internship opportunity for the students, and it would be nice to see their designs come to life instead of remaining on paper.
“CU needs to be serious about its quest for sustainability,” Spaulding said. “If they’re going to be a school that is going to be environmental, they should practice what they preach and invest in renewable resources.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Catarina Massa at Catarina.firstname.lastname@example.org.