CU Sustainability Energy and Env Complex | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction v3 - LEED 2009

CU Sustainability Energy and Env Complex

4001 Discovery Drive
Boulder, CO 80303
United States

LEED Gold 2017

The Sustainable Energy and Environment Laboratory (SEEL), is situated on the East Campus at the University of Colorado-Boulder. It is designed to bring under one roof more than a dozen diverse programs and partners, drawing on top talent from CU-Boulder and neighboring federal laboratories. It is a catalyst for learning, research, and innovation. As part of the Geosciences project which serves as a piece of the complex, NORESCO was contracted to perform LEED Certification Consulting, daylight modeling and analysis, and energy modeling services for the construction of the wet lab facility.

Some of the unique challenges faced while approaching this sustainable project included balancing the desire to lower the energy use of the building with the specific program needs of operating a wet lab building. For example, for human health and safety, proper ventilation is crucial in the labs, but increased ventilation drives energy use up. Also, building users want to ensure that labs have the capability to support larger research projects in the future. Moreover, right-sizing building mechanical systems was challenging in light of users who may want more capability down the road. Finally, there were also budget constraints associated with a state-funded project.

However, NORESCO's LEED consultants worked through these challenges and guided the project team through the certification process from pre-design through construction, maintaining consensus by having LEED goal-setting sustainable design charrettes early in the process. NORESCO also provided reviews of the LEED design and construction documentation along with the coordination of responses to the Green Business Certification Institute.

Additionally, NORESCO's analysts developed ASHRAE 90.1 compliant baseline and as-designed building models to evaluate selected energy conservation measures (ECMs) and to calculate the projected respective annual performance of the wet lab facility. These analyses were used to meet project goals and to inform energy cost savings that demonstrate compliance with LEED energy performance credits. The preliminary models produced strategy bundles that included multiple energy conservation measures which included the implementation of changes such as exterior wall improvement, continuous roof insulation, high efficiency water-cooled chillers, and daylighting throughout lab spaces. A total of seven energy efficiency bundles were proposed with a potential energy cost savings of 37.6% compared to the baseline model with all strategies implemented.

The project achieved LEED Gold in September of 2017.

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Project details
140,000 sf
26 Sep 2017
Data Reporting
Energy Update
Water Update
Transportation Update
Waste Update
Human Experience Update

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