Denver’s booming population calls for sustainable building space

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The plans for the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative are working to ensure the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the community.

Patti Mason
Mountain West regional director, USGBC, Denver

You can liken community development to buying a new car. Everything works perfectly when you drive off the lot, but over time it will need maintenance, oil changes and more upkeep in order to run. Buildings and communities are the same.

Over time, community infrastructure needs an update, and the plans for the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative are working to ensure the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the community. Keeping up with Denver’s already popular green building movement, the plan will incorporate design strategies that build a better, greener and more connected North Denver.

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Green Building Council will host its annual 2017 Commercial Real Estate Forum. This year, the forum, titled “Wanted: Transformative Development in North Denver,” will address all of the issues cropping up in this redevelopment plan, so that local leaders, builders, engineers and designers can actively engage and take part in what the redevelopment will mean for Denver.

A panel of commercial real estate professionals, green building experts and the key partners involved in this redevelopment, especially around the National Western Center, will discuss the project’s sustainability goals and how green building planning and design elements will be interwoven into the redevelopment.

Green construction is on the rise across the country, particularly in Colorado. According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Economic Impact Study, between 2015 and 2018, green construction in the state is expected to contribute nearly $24 billion to Colorado’s gross domestic product, which accounts for 281,000 jobs for Colorado residents.

On top of that, the recently released 2017 National Green Building Adoption Index reports that Denver ranked the seventh greenest city out of the top 30 office markets in the U.S. Over the past year, 13.3 percent of office buildings in Denver earned a green certification, up 1.5 percentage points from 2015, according to the report.

In the commercial real estate industry, developers know that building sustainably not only is good for communities, but also green buildings drive higher market prices and economic growth. The plan to redevelop North Denver will help redefine the neighborhood and continue making Denver an economic, cultural and sustainable leader in Colorado and the U.S.

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