CH2M Hill Campus LEED Certified
The CH2M Hill World Headquarters South Building in Englewood earned the first LEED Certification in Colorado in 2002, and was soon followed by the West Building (LEED Certified, 2002), the North Building (LEED Certified, 2003), and the East Building (LEED Certified, 2008). Together with the MEP engineering firm Swanson Rink and CH2M Hill's own commissioning agent, the design and LEED documentation team realized significant materials and recycling benefits while breaking new ground in Colorado's green buildings movement.
Corporate and design team goals were driven by the desire to embed environmental responsibility into the structure, interior finish, and operation of the new buildings. An important secondary goal was to assimilate experience gained from the sustainable design and LEED certification process into the company's core business of providing global infrastructure engineering services. Environmental goals and financial realities were balanced through life cycle cost analysis, resulting in the selection of energy-efficient cooling equipment, high-performance glazing, lighting controls, and load shifting to avoid peak energy pricing. Swanson Rink's mechanical system design optimized energy performance by 30% over minimum ASHRAE standards.
The largest sustainability gains were accomplished through the selection of the building's total pre-cast concrete structural system. Factory-produced components virtually eliminated onsite construction waste. With the casting facility located just 20 miles from the jobsite, local materials accounted for 39% of all construction materials. Fly ash, a by-product of coal combustion, is a valuable additive to concrete, making it stronger, more durable, and easier to work with. The nearly 750,000 pounds of fly ash added to the CH2M Hill precast components contributed to recycled content credits. The precast exterior load-bearing wall panels reduced material usage by doubling as structure and finish.