The new East District Energy Plant (EDEP) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) recently earned LEED Gold certification, the second-to-highest attainable LEED certification level. The project was certified through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) system. The RMH Group (RMH) served as the project’s mechanical/electrical engineer and LEED consultant, and LOA Architecture served as the project’s architect. Opened in 2014, the EDEP generates steam and chilled water for much of CU Boulder’s Main Campus and serves as the headquarters for the university’s Utility and Energy Services division.
By applying a variety of innovative technologies, the project team was able to realize a projected 41 percent water reduction and 25 percent energy cost savings compared with industry standards. To achieve this level of energy savings, a number of sustainable strategies were implemented including underfloor air distribution and energy recovery. In addition, 80 percent of construction materials was diverted from landfills, 20 percent of construction materials utilized recycled products and 20 percent of construction materials was sourced from within 500 miles of the site.