he U.S. Green Building Council of Colorado has named the winners of its first-annual Commercial Real Estate Green Awards. The program recognizes excellence and innovation in new and existing buildings in Colorado. The awards were presented on Dec. 3 at a gala reception held at the Grand Hall of Denver’s Union Station. Winners were selected by a 15-person panel of green building and commercial real estate professionals.

Photo courtesy of Brad Nicol Photography
The chapter's first-annual awards were presented on Dec. 4 at a gala reception held at the Grand Hall of Denvers Union Station.Among the attendees, back row, from left: Adam Knoff, senior sustainability manager, Unico; Scott Perry, general manager, Springhill Suites; Pete Jefferson, principal/vice president, M.E. Group Inc.(Wayne Aspinall Bldg.); James Fennell, architect, Ivywild School. Front row, from left: Sharon Alton, executive director, USGBC Colorado; Elaine Harkins, facility director, Denver Museum; Tanya Leung, general manager, LBA Realty (Denver Place); Anna Zawisza, executive director, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado; Jordan Turboff, Tenant Planning Services and CREI Awards Jury chair.
Photo courtesy of USGB Colorado
Denver Place, Green Building Legacy Award

“The winners here tonight are emblematic of the future of green building. Their innovations have set a new standard in Colorado—and the rest of the country—for buildings that make environmental and economic sense,” said Sharon Alton, executive director, USGBC Colorado. “USGBC Colorado salutes all the winners and finalists for their collective energy and commitment to

making Colorado’s Green Building Community a model of excellence.”
Nomination criteria specified that entrants must be located in the state of Colorado, and must be active (in operation or substantially completed) between January 2013 and September 2014. The project had to be a commercial building (office, medical, retail, etc.) and have green building design or operational attributes; however, LEED certification is not necessarily required for submission.

Finally, the project must exemplify the vision of USGBC Colorado: “To transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.”

The 2014 Commercial Real Estate Green Awards were organized into seven categories:

Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technologies

• Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Education and Collections Facility

The major sustainable features of this addition include 50% energy-cost and 62% energy-use savings, and a LEED-NC Platinum rating—86 points (currently under construction review by GBCI).

“The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is pleased to receive this award for implementation of sustainable strategies honoring our new addition to the Museum building,” said Elaine Harkins, facility director, Denver Museums. “This recognition of our sustainability efforts helps us demonstrate to the community the importance of commitment to energy efficiency in the built environment.”

Rise to the Challenge: Most Accomplished Green Building

• The Ivywild School

The Ivywild School is a reinvented community anchor achieved through the transformation of an old 1900’s school into a combined brewery, bakery, bicycle retail outlet, community meeting room, public radio recording studio, coffee shop and spirits lounge and community garden.

“Being named winner of the Rise to the Challenge: Most Accomplished Green Building for 2014 is a great honor,” said James Fennell, architect and urban planner at Fennell Group. “Ivywild uses the concept of ‘symbiosis’ to create an economic, environmental and cultural catalyst toward revitalizing a declining neighborhood. Having our work recognized by this outstanding group of sustainability leaders serves to validate our efforts. We are excited about Ivywild’s innovations and how these are changing the community development industry.”

Green Dealmakers: Most Sustainable Real Estate Company

• Unico Properties

This year was Unico Properties’ biggest one yet for green building, with numerous industry‐leading projects and pilots, all of which highlight the company’s ability to simultaneously provide superior customer service, boutique knowledge and high-performance buildings.

“Unico strives to make a positive contribution to the communities we serve while delivering best-in-class management. This award is affirmation that we’re achieving that goal in Denver,” said Adam Knoff, senior sustainability manager, Unico. “We’re proud that cost-effective, high performance buildings are possible in a competitive and growing market like Denver, and we are honored to serve as a leader in that pursuit.”