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First Sustainable Athletic Facility at CU Boulder Earns LEED-Platinum

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The University of Colorado Boulder’s new volleyball and basketball practice facility has received a LEED-Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first sustainable athletic facility on the CU-Boulder campus and one of only two Platinum-rated athletic facilities in the Pac-12.

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The 43,000-sq-ft facility, built adjacent to the Coors Events Center, opened in August and houses two NCAA-regulation-size basketball courts. They are shared by the men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as the women’s volleyball program.

Other spaces in the building include a ticket booth, lobby, locker rooms and offices.

“This facility promotes the success of our student athletes and programs and provides an addition to the Coors Events Center that improves the structure’s architectural integration with the campus,” said Paul Leef, campus architect and director of the Planning, Design and Construction office. “It also expands our portfolio of high-performance facilities with a new building type and challenges, like not being able to introduce a lot of windows for natural light. Still, we were able to achieve the highest LEED rating.”

The practice facility is estimated to be 40% more energy efficient and 30% more water efficient than recent buildings of similar size and function.

Its features include rooftop solar panels capable of providing 10% to 12% of the building’s electricity. The structure is cooled with an evaporative system that uses less energy than traditional mechanical systems. The facility also is outfitted with low-flow water fixtures, high-performance insulation and windows, efficient lighting, and lighting and heating controls that are key to optimizing energy savings.

“We have recently built sustainable and very energy-efficient academic, research, residential and dining spaces,” said Moe Tabrizi, campus sustainability director. “The athletic facility adds to the sustainability learning opportunities and experiences for our students throughout campus, no matter where they are.”

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