Office first in Colo. county to earn LEED platinum

Boulder County's St. Vrain Community Hub office building in Longmont, Colo., has achieved LEED highest rating.

The facility earned platinum status U.S. Green Building Council for its resource-efficient, environmentally sustainable design and interior environmental quality, reports the Times-Call.

Boulder County officials said the Community Hub's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification makes the building the first facility in Longmont to be awarded the USGBC's LEED platinum designation, that national organization's highest rating for the design and construction of green buildings.

The building houses units of the county Housing and Human Services, Community Services and Public Health departments and Mental Health Partners.

Among the environmentally sustainable features of the building, which opened in August 2015, are a solar voltaic power system and a mechanical energy-recovery system that transfers heat or cool air exiting the building to air entering the building, allowing for 100 percent cycling of fresh air.

Taller ceilings and a central atrium increase natural lighting in the building, and a rain garden between a parking lot and the building collects most of the building's water at a central location where it can be absorbed into groundwater, minimizing the flow into the sewer system, officials said.

The facility includes electric vehicle charging stations, carpool parking and a bicycle parking area with a bike repair center. Air conditioning is 100 percent from evaporative coolers, and low-energy LED lights, combined with natural lighting, reduces energy costs.

Drought-resistant plants in the facility's landscaping help decrease water needs, and a concrete parking lot reduces the heat-island effect that asphalt lots can generate.


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