Colorado Health Foundation’s Denver Office is First Building in the U.S. to Achieve both WELL and LEED v4 Gold Certifications
(Centennial, Colo.) – June 14, 2018 – Saunders Construction along with the Colorado Health Foundation and Davis Partnership Architects, is proud to announce that the Foundation’s new office building in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood has been awarded WELL Certification at the Gold level by the International WELL Building InstituteTM (IWBITM). The project has also achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) v4 Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The building is the first project in the U.S. to achieve IWBI’s WELL Building StandardTM at the Gold level and LEED v4 Gold certification, reflecting the Foundation’s commitment to improve the health of all Coloradans, including employees and those who visit the building.
Saunders is the region’s leader in sustainable construction with 47 completed projects that have achieved LEED Certification – five of which achieved LEED Platinum, the highest level in certification program of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
“For this particular project, we knew we needed to build a structure that is sustainable, progressive and health-conscious,” said Justin Cooper, Vice President of Project Development for Saunders Construction. “By partnering with The Colorado Health Foundation, we were able to align our shared vision of improving health for Coloradans to create a building that allows for movement, interaction and calming space for employees and visitors.”
The building, which broke ground in December 2015 and was completed in late 2016, is the first project in the U.S. to achieve International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI) WELL Building StandardTM at the Gold level and LEED v4 Gold certification. Saunders was responsible for ensuring that construction was completed in an efficient manner as to achieve LEED Gold Certification, while bearing in mind project budget, schedule, and scope.
The three-story, 32,500-square-foot building features a “health-positive” design and development standards that aim to improve the health of both staff and visitors who interact with the building space, including:
- Direct access to outdoor areas via rooftop decks and gardens
- Natural ventilation of daylight
- Energy Use Intensity (EUI) that is 46 percent less than a baseline office building
- Design approaches (daylighting, massing and operable windows) with an efficient HVAC system
- LED lighting and Energy Star appliances
- Preparation for future installation of solar panels
The Foundation’s new building incorporates the seven WELL Building StandardTM concepts in a variety of ways: All staff desks are within 25 feet of a window, allowing for abundant natural light. A 40-foot living wall in the lobby integrates a variety of plant life, while the central staircase encourages physical activity. Two quiet rooms are located away from work areas and are available for mental breaks, nursing mothers or phone calls, and the building has its own on-site gym.
Additionally, Saunders took their commitment to this cause one step further, creating a challenge for their construction field crews to “Walk Around the World.” Each crew-member was given a pedometer to keep track of their progress and to achieved 44 million steps to combat the health problems that often plague the construction industry.
To keep abreast of current trends, standards and certifications, Saunders is a member of the USGBC. In addition, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Program, they pledge to implement long-term strategies towards employing a zero waste stream process, significantly reducing water use and carbon output, continuing and expanding efforts in philanthropy, and expanding the breadth of ethical business practices.