USGBC Colorado honored the winners of its second annual Commercial Real Estate Green Building Awards on Dec. 1. The awards, which recognize excellence and innovation in new and existing buildings in Colorado, were presented at the Commercial Real Estate Awards Gala at the SPACE Gallery in Denver. A judging panel of green building and commercial real estate professionals selected the winners.

“The Green Building Awards are a wonderful way to acknowledge projects that have taken steps to create a healthier environment and empower communities,” said Patti Mason, executive director, USGBC Colorado. “USGBC Colorado celebrates those who continue to make our state a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability.”

The 2015 Commercial Real Estate Green Awards winners were divided into seven categories.

Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technologies: Marble Distilling Co. This building, which has a distillery, tasting room and guest rooms, is the first major commercial building to meet the requirements of the International Green Construction Code in Carbondale, Colo. It was constructed using an integrated systems approach that uses the heat from the distilling process to heat the building.

Rise to the Challenge—Most Accomplished Green Building: Turntable Studios. Denver’s first micro-apartment project is an adaptive reuse of the former Hotel VQ near Sports Authority Field at Mile High. It has energy-efficient windows, LED lighting and is close to public transportation.
The building was created as a dense vertical environment of micro-units with efficient living space and a small footprint for each resident, which is much more environmentally friendly than a less dense, sprawling scenario such as suburban, single-family detached homes.

Green Dealmakers—Most Sustainable Real Estate Company: GreenSpot Real Estate. More than just a real estate company, the “whole-house” and “whole-building” data-driven professionals at GreenSpot have helped make it an industry leader in adding value to real estate through site acquisition and disposition services, green-building certifications like LEED and ENERGY STAR and expert advice to developers, investors and homeowners.

Most Successful Community Engagement: Aurora Public Schools. All 59 of the schools in the Aurora district have installed smart meters through the Green Stars Program, an incentives program developed to award schools for their energy-saving efforts. The meters give access to real time data for energy, natural gas, water and trash rates at the schools.

Greenest Building of 2015 (New or Existing): South Wing at St. Vrain. The building is targeting LEED Platinum and is pursuing credits in all areas of sustainability: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Executive Director’s Award: The Dakota Outfall Project. The $21-million infrastructure project achieved three important objectives. It provided a 100-year stormwater drainage solution to address chronic flooding during large storms, it increased connectivity from Washington Park and surrounding neighborhoods and it catalyzed transit-oriented development to allow for increased density near the transit center.

The Green Building Legacy Award: 1900 Sixteenth Street. 1900 Sixteenth Street, a 400,539-sq-ft, 17-story tower adjacent to the landmark Millennium Bridge, was designed to limit energy and water consumption, protect indoor environmental quality, improve access to transit options and use materials with local or recycled content. The structure achieved Gold certification through USGBC’s LEED-CS certification program.

The awards nomination criteria specified that finalists must be located in Colorado and must be active (in operation or substantially completed) between January 2015 and October 2015. The project must 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, projects 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.”