New ATLAS Building Becomes First CU Facility To Get Top Environmental Ranking

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail The ATLAS building, the University of Colorado at Boulder’s new technology learning center, has become the first facility in the CU system to attain a gold rating, one of the nation’s highest for green building design. The Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society, or ATLAS, building has achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s gold rating under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The LEED program is considered the U.S. benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. To achieve a gold rating, a building must meet high standards, including sustainable site development; water-saving features; high levels of energy efficiency; use of green construction materials; extensive recycling of construction waste; and high indoor environmental quality. The recognition follows the renovation of CU-Boulder’s University Memorial Center, which received a silver certification earlier this year. “With ATLAS we not only have a building that is aesthetically pleasing and filled with innovative features that meld art and technology, but one that meets the highest standards when it comes to human and environmental health,” said campus conservation officer Moe Tabrizi. “The ATLAS building is 20 percent to 30 percent more water and energy efficient than others recently built in Colorado,” he said. Tabrizi also noted that construction waste was recycled and that paint and other finishing supplies at the site were “the most environmentally friendly materials available on the market.” Steven Thweatt, CU-Boulder’s campus architect and director of facilities management, said the university has many people to thank for the achievement, including students who pushed for green construction when they approved fee increases to pay for new buildings. “Our students should be very proud of what they, the project team, and our faculty and staff have accomplished here,” he said. Vice Provost Bobby Schnabel, director of the ATLAS program, added, “Recognizing the ATLAS building’s sound, green construction only adds to the satisfaction of knowing our students and faculty have such a high-quality facility available to them in the heart of campus.” Construction of the $31 million ATLAS building was financed through a combination of a new student capital construction fee, federal and state funding and private donations, including a $2.25 million co-naming gift from Jim and Becky Roser of Boulder and a $1 million gift from cable television giant Comcast. The student fees, which began this fall, amount to $21 million of the building’s overall budget. The fees will increase from $100 a year to $400 a year over a four-year period. The new fee will be assessed for 20 years and serves as a replacement for state funding. It also funded other campus projects, including the new law school. The ATLAS building features a black-box theater, classrooms, a state-of-the-art production studio and other high-tech amenities. Published: Dec. 12, 2006 last_img read more