Colorado State University Professor Recognized as a Hero of Sustainability

Brian Dunbar, professor in the Department of Construction Management and director of the Institute for the Built Environment, was recognized Thursday as a Hero of Sustainability by the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. The award was presented by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper at the alliance’s annual awards gala in Denver.

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter kicked off the gala, a green event that included comprehensive recycling and locally grown and produced food served by farmers and chefs who provided the food.

The four Colorado ‘Heroes of Sustainability’ were selected within four categories: non-profit, business, government and academia. Residents of Colorado were encouraged to nominate people who showed leadership and innovation in addressing any aspect of sustainability – economic, social or environmental. The Heroes of Sustainability winners were up against dozens of nominations located throughout the state.

"We are honored to be able to recognize these Heroes of Sustainability for leading the way to a more sustainable Colorado," said Aaron Nelson, project director for Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. "We recognize that people across the state are selflessly advancing sustainability in their communities, and we wanted to make sure they received the gratitude for their hard work. Over the next year, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado will be working closely with people from across the state to promote a more sustainable Colorado."

Dunbar won in the academia division for his long record of moving the green-building industry forward through his efforts in education, industry projects and cutting-edge research. His work is transforming the building industry in Colorado and is inspiring the next generation of industry professionals to embrace sustainability as an essential component of all building projects.

"Our state is a national leader in sustainability and green building, and I’m honored to be teaching at Colorado State, a green university recognized for its teaching and research in green building, green engineering, sustainable business and many other environmental programs," Dunbar said. "My specific focus on greening Colorado’s schools is a way to assure that our future generations grow up understanding that sustainable practices lead naturally into health, energy efficiency, water conservation, care of our environment and a more prosperous future."

The Institute for the Built Environment was established at Colorado State in 1994 in the College of Applied Human Sciences. Dunbar and Josie Plaut, director of Projects, and graduate student interns, have coordinated nine LEED certifications for buildings in northern Colorado. That number makes up almost 10 percent of Colorado’s certified projects. Projects include Fossil Ridge High School, Colorado State University’s Transit Center, Guggenheim Hall, Bethke Elementary, and Seven Generations office park. Bethke soon will be recognized as the first LEED for Schools certified project in the nation. Seven Generations office park is the first platinum certified project in northern Colorado.

Dunbar has taught construction management and interior design at Colorado State for 25 years. He recently was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Colorado Chapter and is a national faculty member for the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado is a nonprofit organization created to unify the sustainability movement in Colorado by building collaborative networks among individuals, nonprofit organizations, business, government and academia. The organization’s green office building, the Alliance Center at 1536 Wynkoop St. near Union Station, is a multi-tenant sustainability hub housing 27 nonprofit organizations.