Coors Field Sustainable Garden

By: Colin Day

The Institute for the Built Environment has finished its first growing season in the urban garden business. In collaboration with ARAMARK Food Services operating at Coors Field, our executive management and graduate student interns implemented the installation of the Coors Field Sustainable Garden, located at Gate A of the stadium in Denver, before the commencement of the 2013 baseball season. ARAMARK food services, an industry leader in public venue scale food service and facility maintenance, contracted IBE to assist in the creation of a pilot garden space, a first within major league sports venues. The goal was to realize the vision of on-site, sustainably produced food. The design mimics a baseball stadium with raised beds terracing upwards from the garden’s ‘infield’ to the ‘outfield’, to the ‘stands’. Ornamental flowers, followed by herbs and beneficial garden plants, followed by vegetables were on display for the ½ million fans that pass through Gate A over the course of the Rockies’ season.

The vision of ARAMARK to display and provide healthy, sustainably produced herbs and vegetables on-site as a part of their food operations is an example of a large company-wide commitment to sustainability. ARAMARK promotes sustainable practices in food purchasing, environmentally responsible consumer choices, greenhouse gas conscious building operations, energy and water conservation measures, green cleaning, greening their delivery fleet and ethically managing their waste products.

IBE facilitated design development, chose sustainable materials that would best suit the project ethos, contracted local, organic plant propagation, managed PR communication from conception to implementation and participated in the installation of the garden. During the 2013 growing season, the Coors Field Sustainable Garden provided 600 sq/ft of on-site, sustainably produced and managed vegetables, herbs, flowering ornaments, and plants that promote beneficial garden ecosystem functions to on-site chefs through the 2013 growing season. The harvest included heirloom varieties of tomatoes and peppers and a wide variety of herbs that were harvested by the IBE team and on-site kitchen staff during late August and early September of 2013.

IBE has successfully contracted to expand the scope of our involvement with ARAMARK in the 2014 growing season. This will include outreach to educational and city programs in the Denver area with an emphasis on community involvement and healthy, sustainable food choices for at-risk and under served youth communities. In order to realize these goals, our project team will pursue partnerships with programs such as and Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), as well as potential coalitions with governing bodies such as the Denver Public School System. Additionally, our crops selections will be expanded to lengthen the growing season and increase the variety of selection and nutrition within the beds.

Ultimately, IBE hopes to develop the ‘The GaRden’ as a component of ARAMARK’s Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) goals.  With outreach to other interested ARAMARK facilities with assistance from Denver ARAMARK management, the goal is an export of sets of guidelines and toolkits that assist in the establishment of sustainable gardens at other ARAMARK venues. Through the connection between relevant programs in higher education to nearby ARAMARK facilities, the potential ensuing collaboration would include regionally relevant outreach agendas.

Our experience at Coors Field in collaboration with ARAMARK corresponds with our ethos of sustainable design in the built environment, regionally relevant projects, and educational outreach that intends to spread understanding about sustainable activities and their impacts on health. IBE looks forward to breaking ground at Coors Field again during the 2014 growing season with our project partners at ARAMARK.

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The New Integrated Sustainability Manager Certificate Program

By: Cole Schumacher

In an effort to further educate the business world on the positive impact of sustainable business practices, Institute for the Built Environment is launching a new professional certification in spring 2014. This certification, coined the Integrated Sustainability Manager Certificate Program, aims to deliver knowledge and practical applications to sustainability professionals.
In my time at Institute for the Built Environment I have been given the opportunity to work closely with the launch of this certificate and truly believe that it offers an innovative perspective and practice that similar certificates do not.
This certificate focuses on four emphasis areas: People and Behavior Change, Organizational Sustainability, The Built Environment, and Natural Resource Management.
People and Behavior Change: discover tools for engaging people in positive behaviors.
Organizational Sustainability: learn how to integrate sustainability into company culture and strategic goals to save money and create a thriving environment.
The Built Environment: learn to implement facility-based strategies for reducing the financial and environmental impact of the built environment.
Natural Resource Management: understand best practices for optimizing the flow and consumption of resources in your organization.
The development of this certificate addresses the tremendous growth sector that is sustainable business management. Many professionals are growing into this role of sustainable management without having much background in the industry. This professional certificate will be a tremendous resource for anyone transitioning into a sustainability management role or seeking such a career in the future.
Another aspect that speaks to the innovative nature of this certification is our diverse group of instructors. We have gathered instructors from academia and industry leaders.  Our instructor pool includes leaders from New Belgium Brewing and the Institute for the Built Environment, and the Colorado State Universities departments of Psychology, Sociology, and College of Business.
This program will be launching the first courses in early summer 2014.  Courses can be taken a la carte or can be combined for the full certification. Please reach out to IBE for more information or read more about the program.
Stay tuned for more details coming this February…

City of Fort Collins – Civic Campus Blocks 32 & 42

By: Allison Smith, Sustainable Building Associate

City of Fort Collins – Civic Campus Blocks 32 & 42
The City of Fort Collins desires to create a better civic center near Old Town Fort Collins on Blocks 32 & 42 (the blocks bordered by Maple, Mason, Laporte, and Meldrum streets). Fort Collins City Hall, the municipal court, City Manager’s office, and assorted city offices are housed in a hodge-podge of buildings on these blocks. 

Brian Dunbar and I facilitated a 3-day Design Charrette with participants from RNL, [au]Workshop architects+urbanists, Logan Simpson Design Inc., Integral Group, Architectural Energy Corporation (AEC), Ambient Energy, City of Fort Collins, Adolfson & Peterson Construction, and other project stakeholders. The morning of September 23, more than fifty people gathered in a meeting room on Block 42. For the next ninety minutes, the participants listened to brief presentations on the process, context, vision plan, sustainable concepts, and site analysis. After a break, most stakeholders participated in a small group activity to establish Guiding Principles for the project wherein LENSES was used to identify Flows that influenced the Guiding Principles. Groups of eight reviewed the problem, held a dialogue, and brainstormed their vision for Fort Collin’s Civic Center. Each small group presented their ideas and visions to the full group. 

This dynamic discussion centered on issues related to transportation, employees, citizens, and energy. Project stakeholders were drawn to principles surrounding the notion of World Class, Resilient Design, and having a Civic Heart. Through this process the stakeholder’s thoughts were incorporated into the Guiding Principles that framed the later design discussion. 

Key Issue Identification

The Institute for the Built Environment facilitates design charrettes by making sure all participants and all perspectives are heard. The Guiding Principles went through several iterations until the whole group came to consensus on the language and intent of the principles. Furthermore, IBE began the charrette by establishing rules for the charrette process which frequently includes “listen well to others”, and “no cell phones”, but can also include issues specific to the project. Throughout the process the facilitation team encourages the participants to think systematically. Having representatives from each area of the design team, the construction team, and the user group helps to keep systems thinking active throughout the discussion. By the end of the charrette’s third day, City employees and the architectural team had narrowed the civic center block plans from 9 proposed schemes down to 2 plans.  Without the charrette process, I believe it would have taken over a month to arrive at 2 plans that all of the stakeholders would be pleased with.

IBE will be facilitating charrettes in November and January – I am excited to continue honing my skills in this valuable tool in the Integrated Design Process (IDP). Charrettes can be an important tool to engage all stakeholders and expedite the design process. More can be learned about charrettes by looking at various projects on our IBE website and by visiting the National Charrette Institute’s website.

Green construction focus of new publication

 A new publication on green construction features contributions from authors with ties to Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Buildings are the nation’s greatest energy consumers. Forty percent of all our energy is used for heating, cooling, lighting, and powering machines and devices in buildings. Constructing Green: Social Structures of Sustainability looks beyond the technological and material aspects of green construction to examine the cultural, social, and organizational shifts that sustainable building requires, examining the fundamental challenge to centuries-long traditions in design and construction that green building represents.
The contributors consider the changes associated with green building through a sociological and organizational lens. The essays offer uniquely multidisciplinary insights into the transformative potential of green building and the obstacles that must be overcome to make it the norm.
Five of the 40 contributing authors have ties to Colorado State University and the Institute for the Built Environment.  Jeni Cross, Brian Dunbar, and Lenora Bohren are IBE directors, Bill Franzen, is an IBE Advisory Board member and green school advisor.  Clayton Bartczak is a CSU Department of Construction Management alumnus and former IBE intern.
More information on Constructing Green: Social Structures of Sustainability, published by The MIT Press, is available at the following website https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/constructing-green.

The Mason UniverCity District Urban Lab

By: Colin Day, Sustainable Building Associate

The Institute for the Built Environment is very proud to announce that grant funding has been secured from CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and UniverCity for the establishment of an Urban Laboratory on the CSU campus in Fort Collins. Temporary space has been secured at The Institute for the Built Environment on campus near the corner of Mason and Laurel streets, with the aim to eventually secure permanent space on or near the Mason Street corridor. The UniverCity Urban Lab steering committee is in the process of defining the UniverCity Urban Lab, with the aim of the establishment of a 501c3 non-profit organization to embody the values of community members and stakeholders that it draws upon for the generation of ideas and input.

Mason Street Corridor, Fort Collins

But what exactly is an Urban Lab?  An Urban Lab is an adaptive forum that includes a variety of stakeholder input, which can include community members, professionals, academics, policy-makers, designers, artists and developers.  Interested parties collaborate to brainstorm solutions and interventions for issues and opportunities that the urban community shares.  The platform ideally acts as a think-tank to propose ideas and visions and to propose, test, design and implement collaborative urban planning projects that answer to a variety of community desires and needs. It is, quite simply, a laboratory to test ideas that will be applied at an urban level.

The mission statement of the lab at this juncture is simple: “The Mason UniverCity District is a dynamic area ripe for redevelopment. The district and its multi-modal transportation focus models a robust and eco-friendly mix that supports residents, business, retail and entertainment. It is vibrant and draws people from throughout the community and University to come live, work and play. It is a connector inviting exploration of the eclectic District as well as adjoining neighborhoods and nearby destinations. It is another of Fort Collins’ jewels”.

The aim of The Lab is to guide the Mason Street Corridor toward vibrant and regenerative infill projects. This initiative dovetails with the proposed 2014 opening of the MAX bus mass rapid transit system. The studies and projects will focus on urban design at various scales, urban morphology, neighborhood planning and design, and health and the built environment, all with a particular focus on walkability, bike-ability and an ethos of urban biodiversity and ecology.

MAX Transit Station Rendering, Mason Street Corridor
City of Fort Collins

Of course, other relevant urban design and development topics are likely to arise with the eclectic mixture of the stakeholders, community members, professionals and educators that The Lab is bringing together and drawing from. With the continued support and evolution of The Lab, the development of catalytic projects along the Mason Street corridor will grow a more robust physical, virtual and philosophical connection between the CSU campus, Old Town Fort Collins, and the communities therein. The implementation of our goals will enhance pending development and transportation projects and, with luck, creativity and application, will positively affect the fabric of the Fort Collins community.

To see the work of a small selection of other Urban Labs, please follow the following links:

The Carnegie Mellon Remaking Cities Institute
The Dallas Urban Lab
The California College of the Arts Urban Lab
Arcosanti

Army National Guard Windsor Readiness Center Earns LEED Platinum Certification

The Army National Guard just completed construction of their new Windsor Readiness Center that houses the 1157th FSC (Forward Support Company) of the Colorado Army National Guard. The building is LEED Platinum certified, a first in the nation for National Guard facilities. LEED consists of five main categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Along with these five categories, projects are also eligible for Innovation in Design and Regional Priority credits.

Army National Guard Windsor Readiness Center.
Photo Courtesy of RB+B Architects

The Colorado Army National Guard takes pride in its facilities blending into the communities in which the units are based. “The addition of the readiness centers and the infantry battalion increases the value of the National Guard to the community and enhances our ability to assist in a time of need,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado. The Guard has a longstanding relationship with community in Windsor, the unit responded when a destructive EF3 tornado devastated the town on May 22, 2008.  A state of emergency was declared prompting the Guard to send helicopters with medics and provide security patrols to ensure that looting and theft didn’t ensue in local neighborhoods.

The new 17-acre site and facility will be the home of approximately 130 soldiers from the 1157th Forward Support Company of the 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment.  This new facility is 30,715 square feet and includes an assembly hall, a maintenance training work bay, a kitchen, a recruiting office, a family support office, supply storage, locker areas, classrooms and administrative offices.

Army National Guard Windsor Readiness Center,
Beetle-Kill Pinewood Hallway
Photo Courtesy of RB+B Architects

Proper building orientation allowed the project to have daylighting in 89% of the regularly occupied space, reducing energy use for lighting and for cooling. The facility is projecting a 70% energy cost savings from the combination of a high-performance building envelope, a ground-source heat exchange HVAC-system and photovoltaic (PV) arrays.  91% of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill through recycling and reuse programs.  Both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood and beetle-killed pinewood can be found throughout the interior of the facility. Through the use of low-flow plumbing fixtures, a 43% interior water use reduction was calculated.  Furthermore, the project utilizes no sprinkler irrigation on native grass which provides a 58% reduction use in potable water.

Graduate student interns with the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University were directly involved in the LEED coordination and documentation process. Students gained valuable project experience by participating in and guiding the LEED certification process. In addition, the building continues to teach every day. Informative panels are hung on the walls to educate staff, students, guests and visitors about the green design elements of the building.

For more information about the project, check out this page on the RB+B Architects website.

Larimer County’s Newest Correctional Facility Earns LEED Gold Certification

Larimer County – The Alternative Sentencing Department just completed construction of their new headquarters, located in east Fort Collins on Prospect Road.  The building has earned a LEED for New Construction Gold Certification, which is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design and construction of high performance green buildings.  LEED consists of five main categories (Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality). Along with these five categories, projects are also eligible for Innovation in Design and Regional Priority credits.

The Alternative Sentencing Department is a unique program of the Larimer County Criminal Justice Services Division which allows offenders to serve court ordered jail sentences yet remain productive members of the community.  Offenders are housed in the 53,500 square foot, two-story facility under one of two different classifications, Work Release and Work Enders.  The Work Release program houses offenders for an average of two months, during which time they are able to retain a job and leave the facility for the purpose of employment. The Work Ender program offers offenders a way to serve their sentence through a series of overnight stays, during which time they are assigned to a work crew to perform useful labor in the community.

The new facility provides a benchmark for Larimer County as they seek to shift their operations to more sustainable practices. “First and foremost, we wanted a well-planned building that would contribute to the long-term sustainability of our program. We also wanted to create a sense of ownership in our staff for the building through their involvement in the design process. My past experience showed that going through the LEED process would help do that and would contribute to the long-term operational savings of the building. Finally, we wanted to create a project that was educational for our offenders, our staff, and our community. Since this is my staff’s first LEED certified building, I knew we could benefit by transferring knowledge to our other buildings.” Michael Kirk, Director of Facilities Services Larimer County, Colorado.

The facility is projecting 43% energy cost savings and a 47% reduction in interior water consumption.  Eighty three percent of the construction waste was diverted from landfills through recycling and reuse programs.  22% of materials used in the design and construction were sourced from within 500 miles and 28% of the materials were made from recycled content.  In addition to the reductions in resource consumption, the building is very cost effective for the County compared to a typical high security facility.

Graduate student interns with the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University were directly involved in the LEED coordination and documentation process.  Students in Construction Management, Landscape Architecture and Interior Design graduate programs gained valuable  project experience by participating in and guiding the LEED certification process.  In addition, the building continues to teach every day. Informative panels are hung on the walls are designed to educate staff, students, guests and visitors about the green design elements of the building.

For more information about the new Alternative Sentencing Department facility, see the IBE website, www.ibe.colostate.edu/projects and also view the Executive Summary; and for current local green building events and programs, see the Unites States Green Building Council website at: www.usgbc.org/chapers/colorado.