Advancing better building in Colorado
Hosted by USGBC Colorado, the annual Rocky Mountain Green conference unites hundreds of industry leaders, experts and professionals to inspire, connect and advance sustainable building within the region. The 2017 conference, now in its 10th year, will take place April 26-28 in Denver.
Attendees can earn up to 11 GBCI/AIA continuing education hours at the conference, which will feature an opening reception and keynote, offsite building tours, educational programming, breakout sessions, keynote speakers and exhibitor floor.
Tickets — Register early for the conference, and save $50 (early-bird pricing ends March 17). Once you register, you can access your tickets through your Eventbrite account, and make edits to your order form. Refunds will not be accepted after April 12.
|Student/Emerging Professionals USGBC Colorado Members||USGBC Colorado Members||Non-members|
|December 16-March 17||$125||$185||$235|
|March 18-April 24||$175||$235||$285|
**Memberships will be verified. If you are not a USGBC Colorado member (an individual membership, not your company membership) you will be asked to pay the non-member pricing. Purchase a membership here or contact email@example.com to verify your membership.
Wednesday, April 26 (2-4 p.m.); locations vary
Choose a green building expedition, and earn 2 GBCI/AIA continuing education hours. Includes a presentation and an expert guided tour highlighting sustainable features of the building or neighborhood. When registering you must select the tour you'd like to attend.
Wednesday, April 26 (4:30-6:30 p.m.); location TBA
Join us for the second annual Opening Reception in downtown Denver the day before we convene at the Sheraton. There will be appetizers, drinks and plenty of networking and celebrating. If your company is interested in hosting the event, please email Dannie Miller.
Friday, April 28
The Emerging Professionals and ADVANCE team are hosting community service opportunities the morning after the conference. Details to come.
Partner event: Heroes of Sustainability
This year, we are partnering with Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and integrating their annual Heroes of Sustainability dinner gala with Rocky Mountain Green. In 2017 the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado will honor Rick Fedrizzi, Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council, who is now CEO and Chairman of the International WELL Building Institute.
If you register for either Heroes of Sustainability or Rocky Mountain Green, you get discounted tickets to the other event! Rocky Mountain Green tickets will be discounted by 10 percent, and Heroes of Sustainability tickets will be discounted by $25.
Tour of Panasonic Technology & Business Solutions Center and Pena Station Next Overview
Inspired by the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town – a Panasonic-led development southwest of Tokyo, Japan, Pena StationNEXT aspires to be the next iconic smart and sustainable development, not just in the US but globally.
Panasonic’s new operations hub is one of the first major milestones bringing that vision to life. The building, which is pursuing LEED Gold certification, is a showcase of Panasonic’s technology and sustainability expertise, including a 259 kW rooftop solar PV array, high-efficiency LED lighting, on-site electric vehicle charging, high-efficiency HVAC systems for air quality, high-density WiFi connectivity, and a dynamic "digital skin" on the building’s exterior.
The facility is also home to a state-of-the-art network operations center (NOC) from which Panasonic monitors and manages a nationwide network of solar PV assets producing clean electricity for the U.S. grid, as well as the smart and sustainable technologies deployed at Peña Station NEXT and for other CityNOW customers.
Colorado State Capital LEED Tour
The state of Colorado faced multiple challenges during renovation of the capital building in achieving LEED certification. This tour will guide participants through the five areas that were required for data collection and reporting including: energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.
The Bindery on Blake Renovations of Suite 100; LEED v4 from Owner and Architect’s Perspective
Come hear how a project successfully achieved Gold certification (currently pending) under LEED version 4 using the Interior Design and Construction Rating System.
From an Owner’s standpoint, we’ll touch on how the restrictions of materials and the sources to procure those materials impacted the project. Conversely, from an Architect’s standpoint, we’ll touch on the costs and added time investment to understand and correctly specify the appropriate materials for projects.
The owner and architect will discuss how the working relationship between the mechanical engineer, commissioning agent and LEED consultant from early on set the tone of the project. Ensuring close coordination between the consultants optimized the design and ultimately allowed for ease of documentation.
Topics to include differences with the new LEED version 4 ratings system, lessons learned, designing around new prerequisites and any added cost and scope considerations expected from the new version.
National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) Net-zero Campus Tour
The National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL), located in Golden, Colorado, is the only federal laboratory dedicated to research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
Attendees will learn about the general operations of NREL, have a discussion of its sustainable campus design including implementation of the SITES Rating System, and tour the Research Support Facility (RSF). The RSF is NREL’s LEED platinum net-zero energy building housed on a 30-acre site and the building houses 1325 employees. The rooftop photovoltaic array offsets the building’s annual energy use.
Metropolitan State University’s Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building Hard Hat Tour
Did you know aerospace is Colorado’s second largest industry? MSU Denver is taking a bold step to fly and explore by designing and building a new facility to support students who want to design and manufacture.
Join this hard hat tour and see how the building is pursuing LEED Gold certification. This tour will be led by the project team. Anderson Mason Dale Architects will discuss the design of the building and GH Phipps Construction Company will discuss the construction of the building.
Higher Ed Maker Space - Inworks at CU Denver
A new initiative for the University of Colorado, InWorks seeks to foster interdisciplinary innovation and design thinking in order for students to begin creatively solving the most challenging problems that face our world.
Inworks is located in a renovated and open ground floor space with a variety of specialized equipment and workspaces to support project-based exploration, such as 3D printers, a laser cutter, an electrical lab, a biology lab, and a sophisticated and interactive video conference room.
Thursday, April 27
Thermal comfort is a very subjective factor that deeply impacts occupant perception on the built environment. Current methodologies such as Predicted Mean Vote try to forecast comfort satisfaction assuming all thermal comfort factors to be constant. Research based on the concept of alliesthesia suggests that pleasure requires variation. Changing climate patterns and constant occupant movement makes predicting, designing, and realizing thermally comfortable outdoors an art of balance.
This session starts with a case study centered around the vision of designing a thermally comfortable outdoor space. This strategy would allow for more conditioned program spaces to be included within the established budget. Perception, building code restrictions, building materials and systems, energy consumption, and several additional factors caused challenges towards realizing this vision. However, when overall satisfaction, experience, and outdoor space usage can be improved there is an opportunity for design excellence. The final solution developed creates a multi-sensory environment that is rich with biophilic connections and provides varying experiences throughout the year.
This session will dive into four different rating systems available in the market today and assess how each performs against a set of healthy building indicators. The four rating systems included in the analysis are LEED v4, WELL, Living Building Challenge, and Fitwel. The analysis ranks each rating system on several health considerations using the following indicators; not covered, OK, good, and comprehensive.
The health components analyzed fall into 4 categories; building (vertical elements), location and site (horizontal and neighborhood elements), operations and programming, and rating system mechanics. This presentation will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each rating system in terms of the health indicators. Those in the sustainability field will point out that health has always been a core component of a truly sustainable development project, the absence of which reduces the effort to a de-humanized energy efficiency or resource management endeavor.
The Oculus Off-Grid Ridable Modern Architecture - An Eye on the Future
Presenters: Steven A. Novy; Aaron J. Humphrey; Brad Reed Nelson; Rob Hollis
The Oculus is an off-grid structure that gets most of its heat from passive solar design. It gets additional heat from a solar hot water system tied to the radiant concrete floor. A solar electric system provides power for LED lights, sound, USB port and pumps. It has a wood stove as a back-up - in the unlikely event that we have a string of multiple cloudy days in the winter. Otherwise, the Oculus is operated entirely on renewable energy, without using combustion or fossil fuels!
It is an example of sustainable construction, not just design. We brought in materials by bike and by hand, in order to be sensitive to the natural setting of the build site. Our goal was to be completely carbon neutral with the build.
Colorado's newly launched Commercial-PACE Program enables owners of eligible commercial & industrial buildings to strategically finance up to 100% of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation eligible improvements. C-PACE breaks down many, if not all of the existing barriers, that hindered building owners and developers from deploying capital into the sustainability of their projects.
C-PACE was named one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine. This discussion will focus on the fundamentals and mechanics of C-PACE, how it can be applied to your projects, and give the audience a perspective of how it is viewed by corporate financial executives that ultimately make the decisions on whether or not a project will move forward. This session will also present the first new construction C-PACE financed project and other project examples to tell the story about how CPACE and LEEDv4 are interrelated when it comes to energy and water use reduction.
Colorado's Construction and Demolition Diversion Dilemma
Presenters: Patti Mason, Hillary Dobos and Wolfgang Kray
According to the Colorado Association for Recycling, the recycling rate in Colorado is only 11 percent compared to 34 percent in the rest of the country. For a state considered to be so green, how can this be? This session will explore how Colorado reports construction and demolition waste diversion and highlight specific issues that communities and project teams face when trying to improve diversion rates.
With a long list of new development, redevelopment and infrastructure projects planned throughout the Denver Metro area and all along the I-70 corridor, it has never been more important for Colorado to improve waste diversion, specifically the waste generated by construction and demolition. This interactive session will consider how recycling infrastructure, cost, project team buy-in, tipping fees and end markets all contribute to building a successful statewide recycling program and ask attendees to chime in on where the greatest opportunities exist for improvement.
In LEED v4, multi-family midrise projects (4 stories and up) that may have pursued LEED-NC in the past are now encouraged to use the LEED-H Multi-family Midrise rating system. This session will provide an overview of LEED for Homes MFMR, highlighting the unique aspects of the rating system and what's new in LEED v4.
This presentation will address the Green Rater / LEED Provider relationship with project teams, LEED documentation work flow, and field testing and verification requirements; specifically best practices for meeting those requirements via project design and good planning. Other unique components of the rating system will be addressed, demonstrating that LEED-H is ultimately a more appropriate fit for residential projects than LEED-NC, and that LEED-H MFMR supports delivery of an optimized multi-family residential product.
The connection between the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and health care costs
Presenters: Loretta Pokorny
The intent of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) is to improve health and wellness within the built environment but other financial and non-financial benefits may be accounted for when used in conjunction with workplace wellness programs. Topics of discussion are chronic disease in the U.S., wellness programs, employer and employee benefits, and the comprehensive approach to prevention.
One Water: The Future of Water in Colorado
Presenter: Tom Hootman
The Colorado water landscape is changing and one of the biggest forces creating this change is the concept of One Water. One Water recognizes that we need to consider the best use of each type of water flow through our buildings and communities. It focuses on water conservation, water reuse and natural hydrology, with integrated water management as a core principle. One Water requires the collaboration and cooperation of water utilities, water customers, as well as planners, designers and engineers. It's a vision for water that is centered on resiliency, water security, public health, and sustainable cities. This presentation explores the concept of One Water and maps it against the current and future water landscape in Colorado.
Disruptive Innovations: Lessons Learned from DCPower Commercial Projects
Presenters: Jennifer Cross; Daniel Zimmerle; John Phelan; Sandra Vanderstoep
In this session, panelists will discuss the challenges, barriers, and benefits to installing DC power systems in commercial buildings. This session is built upon a research study conducted by the Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) at Colorado State University (CSU), in collaboration with The Energy Institute at CSU.
In 2016, IBE interviewed seven individuals from the following four Colorado-based commercial DC power projects as part of the study: The Alliance Center for a Sustainable Colorado (Denver), Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building (Fort Collins), Headwaters Ecology and Community Center (Winter Park), and Devil’s Thumb Resort & Spa (Tabernash).
The participants included an electrical designer, building contractor, owner’s representative, energy services manager, two facility managers, and a director of procurement. Attendees will be engaged in discussion on how results from this study can help in the development of DC power distribution standards and aid in the rapid adoption of DC power distribution in commercial buildings.
The Financial Story of High-Performance Buildings
Presenters: Jeremy Attema; Warren Neilson
stok argues with academic, industry research, and our own case studies that the "premium" for designing and constructing High Performance Buildings (HPBs) does not matter. If HPB buildings are designed correctly and account for the positive externalities associated with them, any first cost premium to these buildings will be offset by the benefits of those that occupy or own them.
Our analysis looks at three different financial perspectives of HPB's; corporate occupiers, short-term investors, and long-term investors as each of these have different priorities for value creation. These next-generation buildings do far more than merely save on operating expenditure through reduced utility and maintenance costs. Learn how to recognize, communicate, apply, and manage these value enhancing methodologies on your next project.
SVED - A Catalyst for the Sun Valley Eco District
Presenters: Yong Cho; Gabriel Cullun; John Knott; Michael Aliaga; Chris Parr
This session will provide an overview of one of the first EcoDistrict projects in our region. SVED is a mixed use sustainable building that will be the first built project in the Sun Valley Eco District. Representatives from the team working on this catalyst project will present the project, the design process and how this project fits into the larger EcoDistrict.
As the first project of this new district, the building aims to create a hub of activity for current and future residents while connecting to larger, district based sustainable systems in ways unprecedented in our region. The building’s program is crafted around ideas of how to live and work more sustainably.
The project shall provide opportunities to for workers to work more collaboratively, access healthy food, provide opportunities for health and wellness and demonstrate sustainable building strategies. The design process of this project is creating a framework that is intended to be used by the future projects in the EcoDistrict.
Airport Management and Sustainability: Evolution of Best Practices in Energy efficiency, sustainability, and project management approaches
Presenters: James Glavin; Cullen Choi; Amanda Sutton; Noah Welshans
With more than 58 million passengers traveling through the airport each year, DEN is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. The airport is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $26 billion for the region annually.
In terms of sustainability, DEN is committed to strategically considering the long-term economic, social, and environmental impacts of all airport activities to maximize long-term benefits and ensure that its success bolsters the community and never comes at its expense. The DEN Sustainability team and McKinstry will present information on recent LEED project best practices, continuous improvement process approaches, and the integration of energy efficiency and sustainability metrics into projects at the airport.
Lighting the Way
Presenters: Katherine Stekr; Rachel Fitzgerald
Circadian disruption, melatonin and lights effects on biological systems have been hot topics in the design industry as of late. Our goal is to help shed light on the mystery of these topics. We’ll review the latest research and studies to help explain why this topic has started to gain so much momentum and emphasize its importance.
We’ll talk through the research and expand on how we can take research and apply it to our interior spaces. We will also go over options for achieving a circadian centric lighting design on a budget, ways to meet energy codes and comply with the WELL building standards. We will discuss the circadian effects of daylighting in a space and how to integrate the circadian benefits of natural daylighting with the electric lighting system. We will also touch on how a thoughtful lighting design helps to integrate biophilia, reduce eye strain, increase productivity and make the interior environments more pleasant spaces to live and work in.
Fundamentals of Natural Ventilation & Case Study
Presenters: Sukreet Singh; Alan Doggett
The use of natural ventilation is an advantage with the raising concerns regarding the cost and environmental impact of energy use. Not only does natural ventilation provide ventilation (outdoor air) to ensure safe healthy and comfortable conditions for building occupants without the use of fans, it also provides free cooling without the use of mechanical systems. When carefully designed, natural ventilation can reduce building construction costs and operation costs and reduce the energy consumption for air-conditioning and circulating fans.
This session will talk about fundamentals of Natural Ventilation – different modes of natural ventilation, neutral plane level, wind speed, wind pressure, buoyancy pressure along with tools that can be used to design a naturally ventilated building. The different modes of natural ventilation being single-sided ventilation, cross ventilation, stack ventilation, wind catchers, solar induced ventilation and hybrid (mixed mode ventilation).
Exciting New Opportunities with LEED for Homes and Production Builders
Presenters: Ara Foss; Tom Flanagan
While finding outstanding success in many market sectors, LEED for Homes has struggled to gain market share with national production builders. In short, the certification process has proven too cumbersome and time intensive to dovetail with a production schedule. USGBC has taken the upcoming switch to LEED v4 for Homes as an opportunity to rectify this. The new LEED for Homes V4 rating system will have a certification pathway specifically optimized for a production builder.
Join Asa Foss, Technical Director of LEED for Homes, and Tom Flanagan , QAD and LEED Specialist of EnergyLogic to learn how the new process overcomes the three major hurdles to making LEED digestible in a production environment: cost, timeline, and administration. (If you’re following along – that’s basically the whole process!)
Pikes Peak – America's Mountain – is one of the most visited mountains in the world and a top tourist attraction for the State of Colorado. Visited by more than 600,000 people annually, it is unique in that is the only fourteener that everyone can access regardless of age or fitness level.
Pikes Peak is an American icon, and the summit is a National Historic Landmark that holds a special place in America's heart. The goal for the design team - led by RTA Architects and including GWWO, Inc./Architects - is to give visitors to the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex a seamless, immersive experience with facilities specifically designed for the harsh environment on the Peak. A primary consideration in all of our designs is to stay mindful of siting and view sheds.
Materials World: Navigating LEED v4 Materials Credits
Presenter: Annette K. Stelmack
There is an overwhelming number of materials used in our buildings, and as people concerned with the impact of buildings on human and environmental health, we’d like to know as much about those materials as possible.
Understanding both the requirements for the Building Disclosure and Optimization credits and the strategies behind them will open the door to the world of material health and the standards, screening tools, product certifications and product libraries that will guide you. This course will help you understand that world.
Effective September 1st 2016 Colorado Senate Bill 14-103 prohibited the sale of certain plumbing products if they were not WaterSense® certified. The laws intent is to require manufacturers to sell only WaterSense® labeled fixtures to distributors, wholesalers, retailers, developers and homebuilders for the sale/resale and installation in the State of Colorado.
So what does this mean for architects, engineers, interior designers and business/home owners? How might this affect Green Building and LEED Certification? And what is WaterSense® and how do I incorporate it into my buildings and homes along with a review of some of the products that have been developed specifically to meet for WaterSense® requirements. This presentation will explain how and why WaterSense® was created and what the new Colorado Senate Bill 14-103 requires. It will also discuss how this new requirement affects potential LEED v4 Certification.
Learn how to make the business case for high performance glazing in your new or existing building. The presenters will cover topics of occupant health and comfort, dynamic glazing, energy savings, peak demand reductions, space utilization, LEED v4, WELL certification, and much more. Show your clients the holistic benefits of a modern façade, and prove you can design buildings for happy, healthy occupants that don’t break the bank.
Biomimicry: nature as model, mentor, and inspiration
Presenter: Cynthia Fishman
This session will define the term biomimicry and how it fits into the field of design by being a new interdisciplinary and collaborative field. We will consider why nature is an excellent teacher and mentor since nature’s designs have been surviving on this planet for over 3.8 billion years. We will review the three essential elements that comprise exactly what biomimicry is and discuss Earth’s operating conditions that all of nature works within.
We will then discuss the 26 Life’s Principles which are patterns or “rules” that everything from a single-celled organism like slime mold to an aspen grove follow. Life's Principles fit into six major categories and time will spent defining each category with examples from nature. We will then examine the process of using biomimicry as a design tool either by using the perspective of an innovative biological organism that then gets translated into a design principle, or from the perspective of having a design problem and looking for applicable biological examples to solve the issue.
The Vertical Community: Green Co-Housing in Israel
Presenters: Michal Vital
Israel has one of the highest population densities on earth. Add to that hot weather and high housing prices – these are real problems. We are a group of green activists who are seeking solutions. Before the creation of the state of Israel, the prevailing paradigm was to create small settlements throughout the land, to spread the population evenly throughout.
This was politically motivated to establish overt possession of the land. After the state of Israel was created in 1948, hundreds of thousands of immigrants came in waves in a very short time. The newborn government, working with architects that came from Europe, were influenced by Lecourbousier and the modernist stream. They created a special type of multi-family dwelling to house the large influx of population.
This way of dealing with the new arrivals created a unique way of dwelling - characteristic of Israel. For the first time in many years, a new city is being built, located in the center of the country. The city is called Harish, and we have a grass-roots co-housing project within, formed by a small group of activists.
The next generation of high-performance buildings will look and feel very different, largely because of a shift in concepts around heating, cooling, and ventilation. With frameworks like LEED v4, WELL, net zero, and LBC, expectations for building performance are growing.
The two strongest trends for the next generation of buildings is increased environmental performance, focused on water, energy and carbon reduction, and increased human performance, focused on indoor environmental quality and occupant experience. These attributes coupled together promise to unlock additional value for building owners and occupants. Because energy cost is reduced and the occupant experience is improved this new approach provides lower life cycle cost and bigger returns on investment.
The key ingredient to the next generation of buildings is the HVAC system and more specifically new concepts for heating, cooling, and ventilating buildings. The traditional VAV (variable air volume) system may have its time and place, but it has unnecessarily become the default HVAC system for commercial buildings. With institutionalizing the VAV system we have also institutionalized a set of less-than-best practices for design integration, energy performance, thermal comfort and air quality.
The WELL Building Standard is raising the bar in the built environment and is rapidly gaining momentum world-wide. WELL addresses design issues in several ways which challenge current industry standards to create spaces verified to actually improve human health during occupancy.
In this dynamic talk, attendees will hear from both an Interior Design Practitioner currently designing for Commercial Interiors and Core & Shell Typologies and from one of the six dedication WELL Assessors at GBCI. Attendees will gain an understanding of the building standard, process for certification, and common project team challenges through discussion of current project examples and strategies.
Denver-based OZ Architecture, along with industry experts, has been designing two communities in nearly opposite places on the globe: Konza Technology City in Kenya, Africa and McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Konza Technology City is a new project located on a 5,000 acre site, 60 kilometers from the country’s capital of Nairobi, along Kenya’s fiber optic corridor to Mombasa.
McMurdo Station serves as the primary logistical hub for the National Science Foundation’s Polar Program. The goal of the redesign of McMurdo is to increase this efficiency while enhancing wellness. Through these projects, the design team has gained an unprecedented perspective of how place can have a positive effect on achieving environmental, social and economic benefits to a community.
With these nearly diametrically-opposed physical contexts, the goal of this session is to provoke and inspire those in the audience who are working at all points within the spectrum of place as those of equatorial Africa and polar Antarctica.
Road to Net Zero for Affordable Housing Development
Presenters: Corey Chinn; Norrie Boyd; Steve Powell
A residential Net Zero Story - An Owner, an Architect, and an Engineer walk into a construction trailer…and talk about their experiences through a series of projects in Boulder County which culminated with the successful completion of two net zero homes, and the resulting implementation of lessons learned for future high efficiency affordable housing development. The foundational project for these series of projects was studied and reported on extensively by NREL, the approach and results of which have been documented here.
Since the initial prototype project completion the represented team has completed 3 more projects building upon lessons learned from each previous project and have tracked the results along the way. Sustainable talking points will include high performance building envelopes, ground source heat pumps, photo-voltaics, integrated design and Owner input and involvement.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are a critical part of creating a sustainable transportation system, offering reductions in harmful emissions and the potential for a transportation sector powered by renewable electricity. Building enough electric vehicle charging stations to support large numbers of EVs will be necessary for the wide adoption of these vehicles.
However, the best time to plan for an EV charging station is before someone even knows they want one. Recently, the City and County of Denver joined Boulder County, Colorado and Salt Lake City and many other municipalities across the country and took a small, but important step forward in building a more sustainable energy future by adopting an EV Ready building code. Incorporating EV Ready language into building codes will save future home and business owners money and headaches when they look to add EV charging.
This session will explore the national and local trends regarding EV Ready building codes and provide insight from municipalities on how the codes were adopted and how they’re being implemented.