The 60,000-sq-ft Research Innovation Center on Colorado State University’s Foothills Campus has earned LEED-Gold certification.

The Research Innovation Center, or RIC, was funded by a $52-million bond issue. Constructed in 2010, the facility includes several Biosafety Level 2 labs supporting the university’s infectious disease research. Much of the building is occupied by independent entrepreneurs and researchers. The building also hosts a 7,700-sq-ft vivarium operated by CSU’s Lab Animal Research department.

To construct the RIC building, the university’s Facilities Management Department worked with The FWA Group, Fort Collins. CSU officials worked closely with architects to design an aesthetically pleasing and energy-efficient laboratory.

“Early on, CSU showed a strong commitment to sustainable design, setting a significant goal of attaining LEED-Gold certification for the building,” said Randy Larsen, president of TheFWA Group. “This is especially noteworthy considering the high energy demands of research buildings.”

The design of the RIC building increases energy performance by lowering operating costs by 42%. Low-flow faucets and toilets reduced the building’s water use by 38% while planting native species cut irrigation water consumption by 90%. Low-emitting carpets and paints were used in the building to ensure a high standard of indoor-air quality.

Additionally, the RIC building hosts a 54-kW solar array that provides roughly 6% of the electrical load of the building. About 830 tons of construction waste generated by this project was either recycled or repurposed.