LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v2.0
Boulder Associates Offices
Boulder, CO 80302
LEED Gold 2005
This dynamic space provides a living laboratory of sustainable materials where clients can touch and feel products and experience systems in action prior to incorporation in their own projects.
Boulder Associates’ Boulder office relocated to the historic landmark Citizens National Bank Building on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall in 2005. The third story space was the first in the nation to receive LEED® Commercial Interiors v2 Certification, garnering a Gold rating for its environmentally and employee-friendly offices. This dynamic space provides a living laboratory of sustainable materials where clients can touch and feel products and experience systems in action prior to incorporation in their own projects.
The office and conference room partitions were designed out of exposed laminated strand lumber and wheatboard materials - typically hidden in door cores - and a truth window exposes the cotton insulation in the gypsum board walls for everyone to appreciate. Both sheet and tile format linoleum flooring products were installed in high-use areas to demonstrate their durability, while occupancy sensors, daylighting controls and a sweep-off system demonstrate the possibilities of today’s lighting controls.
The selection of plumbing fixtures was also seen as an educational opportunity. With many new low-flow plumbing fixtures being introduced to the market, the designers opted to install two types of toilets – both dual-flush and low-flow – as well as waterless urinals, micro-hydro-powered faucets, and low-flow showerheads to experience their performance capabilities first hand. Water usage was reduced by 43% through the installation of efficient fixtures.
Notably, 42% of the furnishings were either reused or refurbished items. Several of the construction materials were reclaimed articles, such as the pickle barrel wood which creates a wood-slat ceiling in the corridors. Among the new materials, nearly 27% were either post-consumer or post-industrial recycled, and 40% were locally manufactured. The reception desk and work space islands are made from sunflower seed board that is visually interesting, and contributed to achieving 5.3% rapidly renewable materials overall.
Recognizing that connections to nature can support health, reduce stress and even promote creative design, maximizing daylight and views for staff was another priority. To manage light at the perimeter and improve its effectiveness, the team incorporated interior light shelves and negotiated with the landlord for light monitors to be added over the large studio areas.
In spaces without historic tin ceilings, the ceiling was removed and replaced with tectum panels aligned with the bottom chords of the trusses. Made from aspen and poplar trees finished with white biodegradable paint, they reflect light while improving acoustics. When the sun isn’t enough for specific tasks, employees can switch on their own personal task lights.
Drawing on the varied textural and aesthetic characteristics of the many sustainable products incorporated into the design of the space, the Boulder Associates Boulder office is an inspiring place for clients and staff alike.