Setting a Standard for Green Design
In conjunction with the General Services Administration, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency held a two-stage design competition for a new Region 8 Headquarters building in Denver, Colo. to ensure the building would represent the best in
design, environmental performance, work environment and security, while providing
taxpayers a good value. The result is a 249,000-sq-ft, nine-story office facility in Denver’s
revitalized Lower Downtown Historic District that is a model of energy-efficiency and
sustainability. (Its interior atrium is featured on the cover.) Since it opened in March
2007, the building has received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification and won awards for its use of
renewable energy technologies.
The building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system was designed for energy
and ventilation efficiency. Steam from Xcel Energy’s district heating system is used for
space heating and domestic hot water. The building boasts numerous green features,
including 10 k W of roof-mounted photovoltaics that were added in 2006 and a
20,000-sq-ft green roof, which helps minimize heat island effects and absorbs carbon
The building's location near Denver's Union Station offers access to multiple public
transportation options, and extensive bike parking and shower facilities are available
in the building.
EPA’s Region 8 covers the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota,
Utah and Wyoming.
For more on the building, visit www.epa.gov/oaintrnt/facilities/denver-hq.htm.
chilled-water business. A dedicated Chilled
Water Center was built in the heart of
downtown Denver, ‘disguised’ to look like
an eight-story office building. The first cooling
customer was served in August 1998. The
Chilled Water Center incorporates two ice
tanks with storage capacity of 75,000 ton-hrs
of cooling. Ice is made at night and melted
during the day to provide cold-water service
to the buildings, while reducing the electrical
requirements on the downtown grid during
the peak daytime hours.
Since service to the first customer began
10 years ago, the district cooling system has
grown to include a distribution network of
approximately 5 miles of 24-inch supply and
return piping and a fiber optic network laid
parallel to the piping, which interconnects
all customers and six satellite plants with
the Chilled Water Center. The chilled-water
service customer base currently has 39
metered accounts, with two more buildings
under contract that will initiate service in 2009.
The Chilled Water Center and satellite plants
serve 21,000 tons of contracted capacity.
Photo Gary Hubel, Xcel Energy.
As the saying goes, however, “the best
is yet to come.” Downtown Denver is in the
process of redeveloping its historic train Union
Station, a steam heating customer, which
first opened June 1, 1881, and has since been
renovated several times. This latest upgrade
would transform Union Station into a multi-modal transit hub that would serve the
greater Denver metropolitan area transportation needs for the next 30 years –
with light rail, commuter rail, AmTrak and
regional bus service. The rail and bus service portion of the complex is scheduled to
begin receiving passengers in 2012-2013.
After the hub opens, commercial development is expected to continue for five to
seven years – both at the 19-acre station site
and the largely undeveloped Central Platte
Valley along which the station sits. These
two parcels offer a great opportunity for
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 Headquarters, Denver, Colo.
Denver Center for Performing Arts complex
and the new Denver Justice Center (
courthouse and detention center), scheduled to
open in 2009.
On average, the steam system’s current
customer base consumes approximately
900,000 Mlb of steam, with the hourly peak
approaching 500 Mlb. The system operates
approximately 12 miles of main and distribution piping, with 720,000 lb/hr in boiler
capacity. Over the next two years, the company
will be adding approximately 70,000 Mlb of
load to the steam system as newly contracted
facilities open their doors for business.
Xcel Energy’s thermal business has not
focused solely on steam service in Denver.
In 1996, the company entered the district
THE DENVER SYSTEM’S FIRST COOLING
CUSTOMER WAS SERVED IN AUGUST 1998.