César E. Chávez Memorial Building Modernization to Cut Carbon Footprint in Downtown Denver

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) broke ground recently on a massive modernization project at the César E. Chávez Memorial Building in Denver. The GSA says these efforts will boost the clean energy economy and create jobs by transforming the outdated federal building into an innovative, high-performing green building. The modernized building will produce 5 percent of its energy through renewable energy technologies and will cut its energy use by 30 percent.

The building, located at 1244 Speer Blvd., is expected to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification. The highlight of this modernization project will be a new building exterior comprised of an aluminum-and-glass curtainwall system designed to reduce the building’s energy consumption by 30 percent, protect against the effects of a blast, and enhance the natural light and view for the building tenants.

Other sustainable features include a solar sculpture on top of the neighboring parking garage, capable of producing 110 kilowatt hours of renewable energy. This means it will be capable of offsetting the building’s energy consumption by 5 percent over a year, and it will be capable of reducing hot water energy use by 31 percent.

“This project will directly create and save more than 100 jobs in our local community in construction and innovative green industries. GSA is committed to investing in our infrastructure with sustainable design principles that will create jobs now and save taxpayer money in the future. The César E. Chávez Memorial Building is a shining example of both meeting tenant needs and honoring those principles,” said Susan Damour, GSA Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator.

This 180,000-square-foot office building is home to five federal agencies and approximately 290 workers. GSA awarded the contract to a design-build team led by GE Johnson Construction on March 23, 2010, and the project is expected to be complete in November 2012.

Tryba Architects is serving as design architect and architect of record.