The University of Denver’s Burwell Center for Career Achievement recently received its LEED Platinum-level certification.
Opened in 2020, the 22,904-square-foot building is the first LEED Platinum-certified building on campus. Platinum is the highest level achievable in the LEED framework, which awards points to buildings that adhere to prerequisites and credits aimed at enhancing environmental and human health.
The Burwell Center is also the first 100% mass timber structure in Colorado. The wood used from the project comes from trees that regrow in less than three days, compared to traditional pine, which takes about four weeks to regrow.
The center has a variety of additional features that helped it achieve LEED certification:
- The three-story space is built to maximize daylight, which reduces energy usage and gives occupants better views of the surrounding campus.
- The building uses low-emitting materials to reduce the harmful effects of VOCs on building occupants.
- All stormwater is captured and managed onsite to mimic natural hydrology.
- Cool roof strategies reduce the urban heat island effect.
- Native and adaptive landscaping reduces the amount of potable water needed for irrigation.
- Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof help provide the building’s electricity.
The building will serve as a learning lab for students in the university’s real estate and construction management program. The school’s sustainability program will conduct research on the building’s energy efficiency over time.
As of 2021, Colorado was the fourth leading state for LEED-designated buildings, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. The state had 78 LEED-certified buildings as of January 2022 for a total of 2.34 certified square-feet per resident.