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Engine House No. 5 Rated States First LEED-Platinum Historic Building

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The downtown office of Denver-based SLATERPAULL Architects, located in historic Denver fire station Engine House No.5, has been named as the first LEED-Platinum historic building in Colorado. SLATERPAULL designed a renovation and adaptive reuse of Engine House No. 5.

Photo courtesy of SLATER PAULL Architects
Custom, true-divided light, steel windows with high-performance glazing have been installed in an effort to lower energy costs and increase energy efficiency throughout the historic building.
Denver Public Library Collection photo, Courtesy of SLATER PAULL Architects
Located at 19th and Market streets in Denver, Engine House No. 5 was originally built in 1922.
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“We are thrilled to announce that our firm’s corporate headquarters is joining the select group of sustainable buildings that are certified under the highest level of LEED standards,” said Jamie Pedler, president and CFO of SLATERPAULL Architects. “The renovation and adaptive re-use of Engine House No. 5 has given us the opportunity to combine two of our passions – sustainable design and historic preservation – and allowed us to utilize our expertise to design a highly sustainable, green building for our own use, while contributing to the historic fabric of our community at the same time.”

Located at 19th and Market streets in Denver, Engine House No. 5 was originally built in 1922.  It is listed as a contributing building in the Lower Downtown Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.  SLATERPAULL’s new office was designed to use approximately 45% of the energy of a similar building via a variety of sustainable design and green building efforts, including a photovoltaic system (solar panels) recently installed on the roof.

SLATERPAULL’s design solution for the new office blends the historic character of Engine House No. 5 with a flexible, collaborative environment through sustainable design and an extensive interior and exterior renovation and adaptive re-use process.  The process entailed masonry rehabilitation, steel window replacement, wood window rehabilitation, door and window opening restoration, and roof and interior rehabilitation with reconstruction based on historic photographs on the exterior of the building. SLATERPAULL received a grant from the Governor’s Energy Office for energy-efficient design in historic buildings and a grant from the State Historic Fund for exterior masonry work.

“Through the LEED-Platinum certification of Engine House No. 5, SLATERPAULL Architects has demonstrated that historic and green can be a winning combination,” said Deb Kleinman, executive director, USGBC Colorado. “SLATERPAULL continues a legacy in Colorado of furthering green building initiatives, while also helping to preserve the fabric of our communities.”

SLATERPAULL’s office includes a variety of energy-efficient systems and green building techniques such as chilled beam technology and a displacement ventilation system for heating and cooling the space, window and floor restoration, recycled building materials, natural lighting, a photovoltaic system and a green operations and maintenance plan.

The specified ventilation system, air circulation and healthy material selection, such as low-VOC paints and minimal carpet, improve energy efficiency, enhance air quality and reduce pollutants and cross contamination in the office space. Daylighting techniques and the use of shading devices, lighting sensors and tubular daylight devices allow for the lights to be turned off throughout the office the majority of the day to limit energy consumption and contribute to a healthy indoor environment.

Custom, true-divided light, steel windows with high-performance glazing have been installed in an effort to lower energy costs and increase energy efficiency throughout the historic building. Wood flooring on the second level has been re-used, along with the historic fire station lockers, which have been converted into a library area.

SLATERPAULL has also implemented recycling and composting programs and a green cleaning system for the new office. Bike racks and a shower area encourage biking or walking to work, with close proximity to public transportation. RTD Eco passes have been provided to all employees.

Due to the wide array of techniques to improve energy efficiency, SLATERPAULL received 92 points on the LEED scale, with 80 being the requirement for Platinum certification. SLATERPAULL was also a recipient of the 2011 Governor's Awards for Downtown Excellence from Downtown Colorado Inc. in the category of Best Adaptive Reuse for Engine House No. 5.

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