Engineers initially hoped the system would help lower the rec center's energy use to around 42,000 Btu per sq ft per year from an already efficient 120,000 Btu, but they now expect to need only 35,000 Btu. "The key thing is we can put heat into this loop and then take it out somewhere else, and no Btu are wasted," says RMH President Bill Green. "We can move heat around the rec center to where it's needed."

RMH's Rick Osbaugh compares the loop to the human body's circulatory system, "with energy going in and out, and it's all being monitored by a sophisticated automation system," he says. "This is probably the most comfortable and healthy air distribution system you can have."

Other key project components include seismic upgrades, replacing the corroded roof over the main swimming pool with a rubber-type material that includes skylights, and adding energy-efficient LED lighting. New landscaping will include planting trees, installing planters and building ADA-compliant walkways.

"I think this could be one of the most energy- efficient rec centers in the country," says Green.


Owner University of Colorado Boulder

General Contractor Saunders Construction Inc., Centennial, Colo.

Architects Davis Partnership PC, Denver; CannonDesign, St. Louis

Structural Engineer S.A. Miro Inc., Denver

MEP Lead The RMH Group Inc., Lakewood, Colo.

Mechanical Contractor RK Mechanical Inc., Denver

Electrical Contractor Encore Electric Inc., Denver