Green Classrooms at Guggenheim Hall the First University Remodel Recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council

A remodeling project in Guggenheim Hall, home of Colorado State University’s Department of Construction Management, was recently the first building on any university campus to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design CI Silver Certification.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED Green Building Rating System, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The CI rating is applied to tenant finish or remodeled commercial interior projects.  

As part of the remodeling project, the building’s hallways, second floor classrooms and staircase were renovated to match or emulate many of the architectural and design elements from 1910, when Guggenheim’s doors first opened.

     The renovation uses sustainable building practices. For example, the original hanging lights now feature energy-saving fixtures and bulbs and time-period-appropriate brass stems and ceiling fans. The crown molding from 1910 has been repaired and repainted to its original bright white color. Where the old wood floor couldn’t be retained due to asbestos abatement, carpet tiles made with recycled material were installed, much of which is encased between wide oak borders.

     The waste stream out of the building also was minimized. Materials that were removed were either reused inside the building or were donated to architectural salvage firms. Many of the plumbing fixtures are ultra low-flow, saving more than 80,000 galloons per year over standard fixtures. Graduate students in professor Steve Jaouen and Brian Dunbar’s facilities planning and management class worked with manufacturers of healthy, sustainable building materials to gain donations or reduced prices for finish materials such as carpet, furniture, paint, wallboards, solar shades and light fixtures.   

     To carry out the provisions of LEED certification, students worked with Colorado State’s Institute for the Built Environment to coordinate and document the energy saving and healthy building features of the project. The documentation was reviewed by LEED officials in summer 2006, who then granted the project a silver certification.

"Numerous construction management and interior design students at Colorado State have gained valuable green building experience by working on various phases of the Guggenheim Hall renovation," said Brian Dunbar, director of the Institute for the Built Environment. "Many students involved with the project have passed the LEED professional exam and are now working for design and construction companies across the country that are focusing on green building."

The green classrooms of Guggenheim Hall project is the fourth project in Colorado to obtain LEED-CI certification.

"This is an exciting accomplishment that will help to further the green building movement in the Rocky Mountain region and in the building industry as a whole," said Jeff Pring, assistant executive director of the USGBC Colorado Chapter. "The Guggenheim Hall at Colorado State is a fantastic example of cutting-edge green design."

A group of construction management faculty are paying a wind power fee so that all of the electricity used in the classrooms are part of the City of Fort Collins Wind Energy Program.

The renovation project was a collaborative effort between faculty, students, university facilities staff, product manufacturers and local businesses. Faculty and students in construction management, interior design, landscape architecture and the School of Education participated.

The university’s Facilities Management staff, including Carol Dollard and Mike Davis, managed the renovation and participated in the LEED certification process. The Light Center, RK Mechanical and Gregory Electric offered expertise and worked with university students and faculty. Product donations were contributed by Interface Flooring, Collins and Aikman, DesignTex, Forbo and Guilford of Maine.

For more information about the Guggenheim project, visit For current local green building events and programs, visit Unites States Green Building Council Web site at