Thursday, June 30, 2011

LENSES Named Global Challenges Research Team By School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University has named the 2011-2012 awards for Global Challenges Research Teams, or GCRTs, and Resident Faculty Fellows. In a move to encourage interdisciplinary understanding of complex global environmental issues, the school selected six diverse GCRTs and five Fellows from a wide range of proposals submitted this spring.

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability, or SoGES, funds research projects that are interdisciplinary in nature, involving faculty members and researchers from across colleges. These projects focus on at least two of the school’s research focal areas including climate change and energy; food security; environmental institutions and governance; land and water resources; sustainable communities; and biodiversity, conservation and management.

LENSES Research Team - Living Environments in Natural, Social, and Economic Systems, Principal Investigators - Brian Dunbar and Lenora Bohren, both with the Institute for the Built Environment. LENSES is designed to lead teams through planning, designing and implementing transformative change to address pressing environmental, social and economic issues stemming from the built environment. 

For the full article visit:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

APS Celebrates Prestigious Design Award

Vista PEAK P-8 Project Team receives LEED Gold award.
Vista PEAK Exploratory P-8 has earned LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. The Vista PEAK P-8 project is the first LEED designation awarded to the district.

The APS Leadership Team and the Board of Education recognized the Vista PEAK P-8 project team for the LEED award at the June 7 board meeting.

By setting design and construction goals early in project planning, the Vista PEAK project team recycled more than 76 percent of construction waste. The team also expects the completed building to use resources and energy more efficiently—with an estimated 40 percent reduction in water usage and a 44 percent reduction in energy consumption, compared to a typical building of this size.

Vista PEAK’s green building design also provides an exceptional teaching tool.  Building design information and real time energy data is displayed on a “Green Touch Screen” located in the school lobby. Teachers and students can also access this information online for classroom curriculum. To see how the building is performing, visit

The Vista PEAK project team included APS Design & Construction; APS Maintenance and Operations; SLATERPAULL/RB+B, a joint venture; JVA Consulting Engineers; Design Concepts; REI Structural; Envision Mechanical Engineers; MKK Consulting Engineers; Architectural Energy Consultants; FCI Construction; and the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University. Funding for design assistance was provided by Xcel Energy’s Energy Design Assistance Program.

Vista PEAK Exploratory P-8 is one of several construction projects made possible by bond funds approved by APS voters in 2008. The school is part of the APS P-20 Campus, which provides a seamless and integrated education experience for students from preschool through higher education. Vista PEAK Preparatory (high school) is currently under construction on the same campus. For more information about the Vista PEAK campus, visit

“Aurora Public Schools is excited to accept its first LEED certification. We began the process hoping for a basic certification and were pleased to achieve Gold. We found that many of the project’s sustainability goals involved strategies that we typically apply on projects, but we also discovered how even small changes in our approach to design and construction could significantly improve the sustainability of the finished project.”- Amy Spatz, APS Design & Construction Manager

Story published by Aurora Public Schools.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Internship Announcement

The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) at Colorado State University is accepting applications from first year graduate students in Construction Management, Interior Design, Business Management, Civil Engineering, and Landscape Architecture with an interest in sustainable design, development, and green building for the position described below.

Green Building Associate:

Green Building Associates at IBE gain skills and work experience, such as project management, integrated design, LEED coordination and certification, design charrette facilitation, green products and materials research, through a variety of research and professional projects. Associate internships typically start at 5-10 hours per week with the potential for additional hours as project work allows.  IBE anticipates hiring up to three interns this summer and possibly additional interns later in the school year.  IBE has been recognized for this green jobs training model in a recent USGBC publication, Hands-on LEED, available at

If you are interested, please send a resume and letter of interest to April Wackerman at (and copy Brian Dunbar,