Denver's Union Station neighborhood rings in the savings
When neighborhood redevelopment planning for the historic Union Station in Denver, Colorado, kicked off several year ago, city planners, developers, Xcel Energy and USGBC teamed up to implement high-efficiency energy strategies into new building designs—creating lasting, energy-efficient working, living, shopping and entertainment opportunities.
Xcel Energy’s Energy Design Assistance (EDA) program conducted comprehensive energy optimization, building, modeling and design plans to help ensure cost-effective, healthy buildings for the future. These efforts paid off—virtually all of the buildings (more than a dozen) in the surrounding neighborhood are earning the prestigious LEED green building certifications and are ringing in energy savings and rebate dollars for the holidays.
We are thrilled that LEED’s green building rating system played such a significant role in the Union Station projects,” said Patti Mason, executive director of USGBC Colorado. “Not only is it an internationally recognized mark of green building excellence, LEED helps create a common language and goal for all those working on the building projects. From design all the way through construction, the team must clearly document that sustainability strategies were implemented.
Collectively, the building projects saved more than $1,152,000 in energy costs and 11,000,000 kWh in energy savings, while earning $1,650,000 in rebates from Xcel Energy. “We know what the standard build-out energy-related equipment costs are, and using the EDA modeling tool, we are able to compare the initial costs for high-efficiency equipment and the long-term savings associated with that equipment, so businesses can see the whole picture as they’re planning,” said Sharon Panas, Xcel Energy Account Manager for Denver downtown.
Denver’s redeveloped Union Station has now become not only energy-efficient, but an altogether preeminent multimodal transit hub connecting Denver and its outer neighborhoods to the world. With the recently completed underground bus terminal and light rail train platform, and the nearly complete commuter rail line to DIA, along with other rail services, Union Station has become the center of the hottest neighborhood in the city—efficiently.