Published: Feb. 14, 2019

The Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE), which opened in the heart of CU Boulder’s Main Campus last summer, has been awarded LEED Gold status by the United States Green Building Council.

Campus community members sit in CASE building

Atrium inside CASE building

Campus community members walk down stairs in CASE building

Campus community members walk through CASE building near panoramic window

Photos by Casey A. Cass / University of Colorado Boulder

The 114,000-square-foot CASE building serves as a new gateway to campus that supports the academic and student experience from the time prospective students first visit campus through their time at CU Boulder, to graduation and beyond. The latest recognition brings to 27 the total number of CU Boulder buildings with LEED certification either for new construction or major renovations.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building, with certification ensuring energy cost savings, lower carbon emissions and healthy work environments.

“Earning LEED certification for such a prominent building on our campus is exciting as it helps place our commitment to sustainable and efficient building practices front and center in the CU Boulder landscape,” said David Kang, vice chancellor for infrastructure and sustainability.

Construction of the CASE building provided a new home for key components of the Office of Admissions’ campus visit programs, including campus tour operations. The new building is also home to the University Exploration and Advising Center, Veteran and Military Affairs, the Office of Pre-College Outreach and Engagement, the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program, the Graduate Teacher Program and Buff Techs walk-in tech support, with more programs slated to move in over the coming months. Designed for flexibility in space, program and services over time, the building is also providing key temporary space for programs like the College of Music, as a new addition to the Imig Music building is under construction. Flexible classroom space supporting multiple pedagogies will also be a key feature of the building.

Sustainability was woven into systems throughout the CASE building. One of the most prominent features is the electrochromic glass installed at the top level terraces. The glazing on these south-facing windows self-dims as sun exposure increases, minimizing heat gain and glare while highlighting the breathtaking views of the Flatirons mountains beyond. Also significant was construction of the building atop an existing parking garage, avoiding consumption of green space and actually introducing new sources of vegetation to the site on the north-facing slope.

Other sustainability highlights that bolstered the CASE building’s LEED score include:

  • LED lighting throughout that contributes to 32 percent energy savings versus a baseline office and classroom building
  • Low-flow plumbing features to conserve water, contributing to a 40 percent reduction in indoor water use versus a baseline office and classroom building
  • 67 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills
  • HVAC and envelope designed to provide a comfortable thermal environment to promote occupant productivity and well-being

Noresco provided sustainability consulting services to CU Boulder to ensure that sustainability goals of the CASE project were achieved. Oz Architecture and Bora Architects led design of the building, while GH Phipps Construction Cos., served as general contractor.