Three University of Colorado Boulder athletic facilities have been nationally recognized for their green building practices.

The 212,000-square-foot Champions Center, 109,000-square-foot net-zero-energy indoor practice facility and renovations to the Dal Ward Athletic Center were included in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum award by the United States Green Building Council, according to a CU news release.

The award brings the number of LEED-recognized buildings scoring "gold" or better to 25. "Platinum" is the highest of four levels of national certification.

"Achieving LEED Platinum for a project of this magnitude is a testament to the work and collaboration of several campus departments and partners," said David Kang, CU vice chancellor for infrastructure and safety. "Athletics has been a key driver of campus efforts to be a leader in sustainability, and this project is a shining example of that."

All three of the recognized athletic construction projects were completed in 2016.

The crowning glory of the buildings' green fixtures is an 850-kilowatt solar array perched atop the indoor practice facility that produces more than 1 million kilowatt hours per year. All of the energy used by the facility, and 28 percent of the overall energy used by CU athletic facilities, is redeemed through the solar device.


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The Champions Center houses CU athletics administration, the football program, Olympic sports, the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center and the Champions Club.

The indoor practice facility is climate-controlled and includes a full football field and a six-lane, 300-meter track.

Revisions to the Dal Ward Athletic Center feature locker rooms and a new weight room for CU Olympic sports, new room for the Herbst Academic Center and the Touchdown Club room.

"These state-of-the-art facilities have proven transformational to the success of our Athletic Department," CU Athletic Director Rick George said in a CU news release. "We're proud that sustainability was at the forefront in the way they were built and how we use them every day."

Additional sustainable building features include reduced water use through fixture selection, heating and cooling systems, green mechanical and lighting systems and a new stormwater detention pond at the corner of Folsom Street and Stadium Drive that naturally filters stormwater from the site.

"CU's energy per square foot and total carbon emissions are all declining because our buildings are so much greener since students voted to fund CU's first green buildings in 2005," said Dave Newport, director of the Environmental Center. "That saves money, reduces carbon, and the buildings themselves last longer and create better learning environments."

Elizabeth Hernandez: 303-473-1106, hernandeze@dailycamera.com