Graduate Fellowship Program Launches

IBE is excited to announce the launch of its new graduate fellowship program. This program is possible thanks to a seed grant from CSU’s Office of the Vice President for Research, which named IBE a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence last year.IBE is excited to announce the launch of its new graduate fellowship program. This program is possible thanks to a seed grant from CSU’s Office of the Vice President for Research, which named IBE a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence last year.

The goals of the program are to support graduate student success, prepare students for professional careers after graduation, and further IBE’s mission to advance the development of healthy, thriving built environments. Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with IBE’s multidisciplinary staff and faculty across campus to create professional resources that translate academic research into actionable tools—be that a white paper, case study, educational resource, or policy brief.You can help IBE ensure that this new fellowship program sustains into the long-term by donating to the Brian Dunbar Future Leaders for Built Environments fund.

IBE welcomes four fellows to this program:

Emily Amedee
Graduate Fellow, Communication Studies

Emily Amedee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communications and focuses on collaborative research and how communication methods can enhance or inhibit civic engagement. She currently works as the Assistant Director of Community Engagement for the One Health Institute, works closely with the Center for Public Deliberation, and is the Vice President of the One Health Club on campus. You might overhear her having conversations about how to enhance public communication, community problem-solving, and the role of higher education in the 21st century. Emily hails from Colorado and devotes as much time as possible to her writing, travel, and scholarship. When not trying to make the world more vibrant, she is chasing waves, gardening, finding magic in the mundane, and writing non-fiction.
At IBE, Emily will collaboratively develop a whitepaper about regenerative development practice.

Hazelle Tomlin
Graduate Fellow, Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting

Hazelle Tomlin is pursuing her Masters of Greenhouse Gas Management and Accounting (MGMA) on a Fulbright Science and Innovation Award. She is a recent graduate of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, who is interested in researching emissions mitigation through both better land use management and methods of carbon sequestration. In particular, she is interested in researching the management of anthropogenic emissions in existing built environments. Hazelle’s goal is to drive policy change foremissions mitigation actions. At IBE, Hazelle will will research emissions impacts in a new sustainable development project in Denver.

Rod Lammers
Graduate Fellow, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Rod Lammers is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He studies how rivers move and change over time and how humans alter natural river function. Rod is fascinated by streams in urban environments and wants to help better integrate these important natural features into cities and into the lives of the people who live there.
At IBE, Rod will research the impact of urbanization on stream quality in Denver’s National Western Center neighborhood.

Raina Benford
Graduate Fellow, Public Health

Raina Benford is a second-year Masters of Public Health Student with an interest in the intersections of public health and the built environment. She also has a passion for gerontology, particularly aging in place, and community resources for older adults. As a recent graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, she is new to Fort Collins and loves the city’s passion for sustainability and transportation resources. In the future, Raina hopes to work to better the lives of older adults through both sustainability and public health initiatives. At IBE, Raina will collaborate on age-friendly housing research and initiatives.




The City of Fort Collins Utility Administration Building completed construction in early Fall 2016 on their new 37,000 square-foot facility. The new building helps facilitate a collaborative environment by bringing together a variety of departments that had been previously housed among six other locations. The building was the first in the state of Colorado to be certified LEED Platinum v4 for New Construction and the third in the United States. Additionally, the Utility Administration Building is home to the first outdoor living wall in the state of Colorado. The Utility Administration Building is one to be sought after and a good model for energy efficient systems and strategies.
IBE has provided guidance through sustainability research and consulting, facilitation of the integrative design process, and LEED certification management. Following construction, IBE assisted with outreach efforts to promote the project in the community, including press releases and post-occupancy surveys.
First LEEDv4 New Construction Platinum project in Colorado
– Designed to be net zero, earning all Energy and Atmosphere LEED credit points
– Photovoltaic systems produce 50% of building’s energy consumption
– 97% construction waste diversion
– Installed building materials that have lower impact on environment and occupant health
– Quality views for 97% of regularly occupied spaces

Location: 222 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO
Certification: LEED BD+C v4 Platinum
Project Type: Municipal Building
Owner: City of Fort Collins
Architect: RNL Design
Contractor: Adolfson and Peterson
Client: City of Fort Collins

Read more from the CofFC_UAB_CaseStudy_2017

Thompson School District’s High Plains School | Loveland, CO


Photo courtesy of RB+B Architects

Thompson School District’s High Plains School has received its LEED Gold certification. This is the first LEED Certified building in Thompson School District. This new 63,000-square-foot Pre-K – 8 complex recently opened in eastern Loveland and houses 590 students. A design charrette brought together parents, neighbors, and district staff culminating in a schematic concept centered on east/west wings separated by a glass-lined hallway, allowing for separation of public and educational spaces while doubling as a student gallery. The gallery showcases student projects and artwork through unique cable displays and will help students to connect with, and learn from, their peers.

North and south facing windows create optimal daylighting conditions for both portions of the building. The north wing houses administrative offices, the Pre-K and Kindergarten suites, a gymnasium, and cafeteria. The south wing houses classrooms for 1st through 8th grades, as well as over 4,500 square feet of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) space, which will be used to facilitate 21st century and project-based learning goals.

IBE’s Role

IBE has provided guidance through sustainability research and consulting, facilitation of the integrated design process, and LEED assessment and documentation process.


  • 59% annual energy savings
  • 20% water use reduction
  • 50% of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill
  • 22% recycled/salvaged materials
  • 90% of the regularly occupied spaces are daylight
  • 100% of the building’s electricity is offset by the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs)


Location: 4255 Buffalo Mountain Drive, Loveland, CO

Certification: LEED Gold Certification

Project Type: K-12 Elementary/Middle School

Owner: Thompson School District

Architect: RB+B Architects

Contractor: Saunders Construction

Client: Thompson School District

Other Project Links: High Plains Pre-K-8 School and TSD High Plains School

Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center South Revitalization | Fort Collins, CO



Photo courtesy of Lory Student Center

Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center South Revitalization has received its LEED Silver certification. The Lory Student Center is the heart of the campus and the center of student life at Colorado State University. The LSC has served as a gathering place for students, faculty, staff, and University visitors since 1962. Some 50 years later, the LSC embarked upon a renovation to improve building infrastructure, highlight student diversity programs and services, clarify wayfinding, and expand spaces for student learning. Dark hallways are now open to daylight and views of the mountains, students gather in common areas and abundant meeting spaces, and the University commitment to diversity is more visible and tangible. The new Lory Student Center is a place to meet and make connections, a nexus point that is firmly rooted in history of our past and the promise of our future.

IBE’s Role

IBE has provided guidance through sustainability research and consulting, facilitation of the integrated design process, and the LEED assessment and documentation process. IBE has also assisted in creating a case study and educational signage for the building to create occupant awareness of the buildings high performance features and green building strategies.


  • 17% energy cost reduction
  • 35% water use reduction
  • 56% of existing building maintained
  • 21% recycled/salvaged materials
  • 100% of the building’s electricity is offset by the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs)
  • 5 integrated design charrettes/workshops utilized during the design process

Location: 1101 Center Avenue Mall, Fort Collins, CO

Certification: LEED Silver

Project Type: Student Center/Higher Education

Owner: Colorado State University

Architect: Perkins + Will and Aller-Lingle-Massey Architects P.C.

Contractor: Saunders Construction

Client: Colorado State University

City of Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building LEED v4 Celebration

Thursday, June 8, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Utilities Administration Building in Fort Collins

Cost: FREE

Join IBE, USGBC Colorado’s Northern Branch, and the City of Fort Collins as we celebrate the completion of Fort Collin’s Utilities Administration Building, one of Colorado’s first completed LEED v4 New Construction project. During this open house celebration, tours will be held back to back, the LEED project team and USGBC will deliver the plaque ceremony, and free barbecue lunch will be provided to those who tour the ASSA ABLOY Sustainability Showcase Truck.

The new administration building is one of the most energy efficient buildings in the state, is targeting LEED Platinum level, and more than 95% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills. Let’s celebrate this amazing building together. All are welcomed to attend.

This event is sponsored by ASSA ABLOY. Learn about ASSA ABLOY’s role in security and sustainability by touring their sustainability truck during the event! Register.


11am to 11:30am: tour 1
11:15am to 11:45am: tour 2
11:45am to 12:15pm: tour 3
12:30pm to 1:00pm: UAB Plaque Ceremony
1:30pm to 2pm: tour 4
1:45 to 2:15pm: tour 5

Reaching for Regeneration: Discovering the Power of Place


Colin Day
Projects Manager

Amid increasing homogenization of American communities, there is a growing interest in identifying and cultivating the unique traits inherent to individual places. Imagine for a moment three different towns that you are familiar with and that are geographically proximate. Each one has its own particular character, culture, and mindset – but why is that? What drives a place to be one way, and not another, in spite of many seemingly similar elements? If we could truly understand the driving forces, patterns, and relationships that make a place what it is, how might that inform our business approaches, city planning, stakeholder engagement processes, and the activities that provide benefit to the community?

Regenesis Group, based in Santa Fe and Boston, has been pioneering a practice called regenerative development, which seeks to reveal and work with the inherent potential of a place. Specifically, Regenesis has developed a methodology called “Story of Place,” which aims to “access the deep love and caring that people have for their place, and then reconcile the inevitable contrasting stakeholder viewpoints into a higher-order understanding that all stakeholders can experience, share, and work from together.” This methodology creates an understanding of what is unique, important, and fundamentally programmed into any given community.

The Story of Place process is built on thorough research about a place’s unique characteristics – what differentiates it geologically, ecologically, and culturally from any other place. The process pulls on a community’s collective experience to explore a place’s distinction—from pre-human history through human inhabitation—considering how culture has developed though time. It uncovers complex patterns that point to customized strategies for supporting a place’s ecological, social, and economic resilience. Ultimately, the process offers unique solutions for making a place thrive.

In this process, community members are active participants in the story of their place. They take ownership through community planning processes and along the way, reaffirm their belonging in the community. As a result, creativity and cooperation drive the planning process, enabling the community to think outside the box, address larger challenges, and regenerate from the inside out.

Stry of Place_cairn_opt (1)

How You Can Get Involved

IBE, in collaboration with the Urban Lab, is pleased to join Regenesis Group to bring Story of Place to Fort Collins beginning this spring. On April 11, Ben Haggard, founding principal at Regenesis Group, will discuss regenerative development and Story of Place (register); he’ll also present in Denver at the Alliance Center on April 10 (register). Then, through a hybrid online and in-person training from June to September, Fort Collins participants will re-discover our place and our collective experience within it. To learn more about Story of Place and how you can get involved, contact Colin Day at[at]

Meet the Intern: Amelia Howe, Sustainability Associate


Amelia Howe
Sustainability Associate

I recently graduated from CSU with my BS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. With programs like mine that focus on natural resources and natural resource management, the connection to the built environment may not seem obvious. However, with increasing urbanization and population growth, urban ecosystems and our built environment have officially connected with nature. I am surprised it took me so long to realize that these entities need to work together as a single system rather than act as two separate systems to thrive, and I owe the majority of this realization to my work with IBE and my CSU courses in Human Dimensions.

Finding IBE

So how did a natural resource student


Brian Dunbar, Amelia Howe, and Katie Vega after a Denver Water facilitation.

find her passion in the realm of urban and regional
design and the built environment? Rewind to Summer of 2015. I was interning with the US Forest Service and volunteering with the City of Fort Collins Environmental Planning department when I met Brian Dunbar, IBE’s executive director, on a walking tour of Fort Collins. He told me all about IBE and a project called “Nature in the City” that immediately sparked my interest. I left that fateful tour with a business card in hand and a mission in mind: become a part of IBE’s team. I remember interviewing for my position a few weeks later and feeling that my background did not relate much to IBE’s mission to “Advance the development of healthy, thriving built environments,” but IBE saw the connections between my work and its mission in ways that I was not yet able to understand.

Discovering the Built Environment Lens

I will never forget my first day on the job. I took a deep breath, walked in, and dove straight into a sustainable affordable housing design charrette. Talk about intimidating. At that point, I knew nothing about the building and design process, and had to look up the word “charrette” before I left my house that morning. While I felt a bit out of place at first, it was in this meeting where I began to see the connection between people and place through a new lens. We were discussing plans for a new development and the conversation was not focused on time, money, and convenience, but instead on how healthy, efficient buildings lead to healthy, thriving humans. It all began to click for me in that four-hour design charrette; the connections foreseen by my mentors finally made sense to me.

The Intersect of Urban & Natural

Amelia Blog.jpgDuring my time with IBE, I have been given the opportunity to dive headfirst into an abundance of diverse project work. With each new project comes new lessons learned, new additions to my “professionalism toolbox,” and new realizations of how I can apply my passion of the natural-urban intersect in the real world. From corporate sustainability projects with Denver International Airport and Harrison Street Real Estate (a $12B asset management company), to city planning initiatives like Nature in the City and the Green Built Environment Program, to LEED and other green building projects like the new Warner College Building addition, it is safe to say I have cultivated a unique project portfolio. Looking at these projects on the surface, one may wonder how I did this all in the scope of one internship. I did not understand it at first either, but the answer is this: the one tie that these entirely different projects share is the importance of sustainability, in all scales and forms. If we are intentional in the way we operate our businesses, build our buildings, develop our city plans, and make purchasing decisions, we can make huge differences on not only a local scale, but also a global scale.


Fast forward to the present. I have just accepted a job offer as program administrator of field education with Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming, and am transitioning out of my project work at IBE. I can confidently say I understand what a design charrette is, and can even help facilitate one. I feel that I have gained a lifetime’s worth of professional experience in the span of two years and I never could have felt this confident entering into my new job than I do now thanks to the mentoring and professional development IBE has offered me. IBE was the best part of my undergraduate experience at CSU, and I will always be so grateful for the skills I gained through the mentoring program and the projects I tackled. On to the next adventure I go!