Renewable Energy Efficiency


You can never take no for an answer. When people say things can't be done you really have to be very skeptical and sometimes it requires a lot of perseverance to get through the no's. Energy is the lifeblood of America and indeed any nation. The more we as a nation and in fact avoid the use of our energy and actually produce it home, improves our energy security worldwide and actually increases our economic competitiveness and our environmental quality. When we started this process nobody thought it was possible to build a super energy efficient building that could achieve net-zero energy with the amount of money we had and what it required really was to change the way we look at the design process, to bring people in the design process up front and early. The success in this building is really driven by its ability to achieve that 50 percent energy efficiency standard and we can actually add that photovoltaics to make it zero energy. This building is about 20 percent recycled materials including concrete from the now disassembled Stapleton airport.

One of the things you'll notice when you walk into the building is that every workspace is day lit. In fact, a 100 percent of our space is day lit. Nobody is more than 30 feet from a window. Other highlights of the building, there's no heating or air conditioning in the traditional sense. It uses evaporative cooling to, in fact, chill water. Out heat is provided by what's called the renewable fuels heating facility, where we actually burn biomass to generate hot water. The big feature of the building is using water to, in effect heat and cool the building. Which is much, much more energy efficient. The uprights of the building are actually natural gas pipes that have, in effect, been reconditioned to provide the structural framework for the building. The advantage that we have by incorporating all these materials and techniques is that, again, we produce a highly energy-efficient building, it's gonna save us money over the long run as we operate it, since we're only paying about half as much for utilities costs but the other benefits that we've created by doing this process is that we've made a space it is much more fun to work in.

Lots of studys show that if people have access to day light and can see out a window they're actually more productive, not only more productive they're more inspired. Buildings like this are not possible without a very creative team around you. Some could have a vision but if you can't translate that vision into action, it's just a daydream. We look at this building as a beginning of a trend and beginning of a change and in 10 years it might not be the most energy-efficient around but everybody will know where it started. .