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


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


slider-07Thanks to IBE’s community of supporters, we’ve had a banner year. Together, we’ve worked passionately to build positive changes in the building industry, our communities, and the world. Join us as a partner to build upon our top accomplishments of 2015:

  1. Driving stakeholder value through sustainability in real estate investment. Harrison Street Real Estate Capital (HSRE) was awarded the GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) Green Star after IBE’s assistance for two years. IBE has developed and HSRE’s corporate sustainability program and guided initiatives that garner social, environmental, and positive economic impact for its investors.
  2. Studying the effects of school buildings on health and performance. EPA awarded CSU $1M to study the effects of school buildings on health and performance. Led by IBE, this research project is engaging the Sociology, Epidemiology, and Resource Economics departments. After this 4 year, longitudinal study a report summarizing the results will be published and will provide a decision making tool for school district capital improvements.
  3. ecodistrict

    The EcoDistricts Framework

    Developing a new focus on urban resiliency. Through seed funding from CSU’s Vice President for Research, IBE has created a steering committee to investigate triple-helix solutions for Fort Collins sustainability. With a goal to raise over $1M over the next three years, this team is using EcoDistricts, a national framework, to maximize project synergies and impact and help Fort Collins reach carbon neutrality.

  4. Helping design teams reach better decisions faster. 
    In July, IBE published “The Social Network of Integrative Design.” This white paper offers a social science-based approach to forming and facilitating effective, efficient design teams.
  5. Facilitating third party certification to drive higher building

    To date, IBE has managed 35 LEED certif9ac39-greenglobes-165ications. We’re currently managing the certification in LEED and Green Globes of another nine projects.
  6. Mentoring tomorrow’s leaders. This year, IBE’s mentorship program hosted 15 students (representing eight CSU schools and colleges), bringing our tally of total mentees to more than 65. One alum, Evan Hughes, wrote us this summer to say, “I interviewed with Tishman and got hired as a Project Engineer, which almost certainly wouldn’t have been possible without IBE. Without a job in New York I probably would have starved or been eaten by rats, so I basically owe IBE, Josie, and Brian my life. IBE was absolutely one of the most valuable parts of my time in grad school.”

Help us build on these six accomplishments in 2016: Become a partner of IBE by making a tax-deductible donation  today. Thanks for your support!

STARS: CSU Tops National Sustainability Rating System

By: Brian Dunbar

Colorado State University has obtained a Gold rating and the highest score ever achieved in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.  STARS, considered the most comprehensive and respected assessment system for colleges and universities, is administered by AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).

To date, more than 300 higher education institutions worldwide have participated in STARS.  STARS measures a wide range of campus practices, measures, and actions including facilities and grounds, scholarly research, education programs, and operating policies.  CSU has participated in STARS since the pilot phase and was also the No. 1 university in 2011, when the original version 1.0 submission was reported.  The CSU STARS reporting process is organized by the President’s Sustainability Committee and is jointly compiled by a team of researchers.

CSU scores high in research (over 75% of departments are involved in sustainability-related research), alternative transportation (over 50% of students use a bike as their primary means to campus), waste diversion, sustainability education programs, water conservation, LEED certified new and existing buildings, and energy efficiency.  Every college and many special programs has notable accomplishments and activities that contribute to the STARS reporting.

The Institute for the Built Environment has significantly contributed to CSU’s STARS ranking through years of engaging students, faculty, and staff in sustainable design education, research, and service-learning projects that benefit our campus, Colorado communities, and the design and construction industries.

For further information on STARS and the CSU report, visit

Celebrate! CSU: Brian Dunbar, 30 Years

CSU is honoring faculty and staff who have reached service milestones during the 2012-2013 fiscal year at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones event, 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, in the Lory Student Center Theatre.
Brian Dunbar

Brian Dunbar

Brian Dunbar, executive director of the Institute for the Built Environment, grew up surrounded by a family of architects.

I thought going on vacation meant going to see buildings under construction, because it seemed like every time we went on vacation, my dad wanted to see something that was being built,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar grew up in Monroe, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate and master’s degrees in architecture. He moved to Fort Collins with his wife, Karen, before landing a job.

Continue reading this article from Today at CSU by Katie Salvato here.

Institute for the Built Environment received $50,000 grant

By: Dell Rae Moellenberg

The General Services Administration has selected Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment as a partner in a collaborative research effort to further develop its Knowledge Network.

Through the $50,000 grant, IBE will identify and summarize published, peer-reviewed, field-tested original research related to high performance building technologies and practices for operations, building, energy and asset management in the federal government and private sectors. The summary information will create an educational foundation to help building operators and users optimize facility efficiencies.

The General Services Administration’s hopes the project will provide education and increase adoption of proven high performance green building technologies and strategies and best practices. Target audiences include facility, energy and project managers, and procurement and budget personnel.

“We are honored to be selected by GSA to perform this important sustainable operations work. All of us in the green building world are searching for methods to assure that our green buildings continue to operate sustainably long after they are built,” said Brian Dunbar, executive director of the IBE.

Knowledge Network focuses on education

The Knowledge Network establishes a multi-channel education and communication platform about energy research. This platform will disseminate information about best practices, guidelines, standards, decision tools and educational content focused on sustainable and cost-effective facility to targeted audiences within GSA, and federal and private sectors.

The Institute for the Built Environment, a research center based in the College of Applied Human Sciences since 1994, has a mission to foster built and natural environment stewardship and sustainability through an interdisciplinary, research-based educational forums. IBE brings together faculty, students and off-campus professionals to collaborate on applied green building, sustainable development and organizational sustainability projects.

*This article was originally published in Today at Colorado State

CSU professor named LEED Fellow, highest honor of Green Building Certification Institute

By: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Brian Dunbar, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University and executive director of CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment — also known as IBE, was recently honored with being named a LEED Fellow, the highest award from Green Building Certification Institute.
Brian Dunbar

Brian Dunbar

“Brian is a true green-building pioneer,” said Dana Villeneuve, who worked with Dunbar as an intern at IBE. “He has contributed a great deal to the green building movement, and the honor of being elected a LEED Fellow is well-deserved.”

The LEED Fellow is the third and final tier to the LEED Professional Exams, which serve as a mark of competence and esteemed qualification. Newly added in 2010, this tier was created to recognize those who have served 10 plus years of exemplary work in green-build practices.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the green building teaching and community service-learning projects our institute has assisted with. I’m fortunate to be part of Colorado State and its land grant mission which values applied research allowed me to ‘practice what we teach,’ right alongside with leading green architects, engineers and builders,” Dunbar said.

Roots in building from childhood

Dunbar’s talent and excellence came from his family, and that is essentially what first interested him.

“My father and grandfather were architects in Michigan. I loved to tour their buildings and I loved to learn to draw, especially buildings,” Dunbar said.

Buildings were a love, but also from an early start he was interested in clean buildings, he said. He wrote a term paper about energy crisis and the need for solar energy in high school and while in college at the University of Michigan he focused on alternative energy in buildings.

“I have asthma, so am highly sensitive to healthy buildings and environments,” Dunbar said.

Work has impacted many

After earning two architecture degrees from the University of Michigan, he has since become a mentor to many, co-authored a book, “147 Tips on Teaching Sustainability,” and has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council-Colorado Chapter, the Colorado governor and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado.

As the executive director of the IBE, Dunbar has been an influential resource for many CSU students and Northern Colorado in general, developing programs like Living Environments in Natural, Social & Economic Systems or LENSES, green schools and facilitating several charrettes to fulfill IBE’s goal of partnering for a regenerative future.

“He has quite literally educated thousands of people about the importance of building sustainably. He has served as a mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students, inspiring them to move on to careers of their own in the green building industry,” Villeneuve said.

Dunbar has done this by adopting the idea of an integrated approach, the focus of the GBCI’s LEED Rating System.

Villeneuve describes this rating system as “a more collaborative, team-effort approach to design in which everyone’s opinion is equally valued, from the principal of the architecture firm to the janitor in charge of cleaning the floors.”

This system was initiated and implemented by IBE at Fort Collin’s Fossil Ridge High School, the new edition to CSU’s Rockwell Hall (west), The Rocky Mountain Innosphere and many more buildings.

“Dunbar is a visionary leader, he always has an optimistic outlook in regards to sustainability, and how we can accomplish it,” said Stephanie Barr, Green School Specialist.

“He is gentle and patient as well as encouraging in driving toward higher levels of achievement,” said Josie Plaut who wrote Dunbar’s nomination letter for the LEED Fellow and is director of projects at IBE.

The Institute for the Built Environment is in the College of Applied Human Sciences at CSU.

*This publication was originally published in Today at Colorado State.