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Environment / Sustainability

Take yourself on a Green University Walking Tour

July 14, 2010

Participate in a self-guided Green University Walking Tour to learn how CSU maintains its environmentally-friendly status.

Colorado State University, the "Green University," is internationally known for its clean-energy research including alternative fuels, clean engines, photovoltaics, "smart" grid technology, wind engineering, water resources, and satellite-based atmospheric monitoring and tracking system. It's also known as the Green University for its sustainability efforts on campus and abroad.

Use the Green University Walking Tour brochure to guide you on an informative and invigorating tour of campus.

(1a) TILT

• Repurposed former Music building, originally built in 1928, for modern use.
• Retained 100 percent of structural walls, floors, and roof.
• HVAC system replaced with more effective and energy efficient system.

(1b) Guggenheim

• Renovated in 2003 to its original 1910 appearance.
• A graduate class led the renovation and utilized sustainable concepts including recycled carpeting, non-toxic paints, ultra low-flow plumbing, energy-efficient lighting, and a solar-powered clock.
• First classroom on any university campus to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification.

(2) SoGES (Johnson Hall)

• The School of Global Environmental Sustainability is an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at the university.
• Positions CSU to address multiple challenges to global sustainability through broad-based research, curricular, and outreach initiatives.
• Funds interdisciplinary research working groups and resident fellows with membership from all eight colleges.

(3) Forestry

• Mission is to provide stewardship of the state’s forest resources and to reduce related risks to life, property, and the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
• Operates 17 district offices across Colorado, delivering a range of services including Forest Management, Eildland Fire, Urban and Community Forestry, and Conservation Education.
• The seedling nursery program on the Foothills Campus grows 2 million seedlings each year, mostly outdoors, helping to reduce carbon dioxide.

(4) Wetlands and Greenhouse with carbon neutral lettuce

The wetlands, located on East Drive, reuse and clean up waste water from the Greenhouse.

• Creatively reuses and cleans up waste water from the Greenhouse.
• Provides a real-life demonstration of bioremediation for students.
• Twenty varieties of “carbon neutral lettuce” served at the Aspen Grille restaurant are grown in the Greenhouse, which also hosts a large number of research projects.

(5) Behavioral Science Building

• Designed and constructed to meet LEED Gold certification standards.
• Features include a garden atrium, water efficient landscaping, use of renewable energy systems, and local materials.

(6) Computer Science Building

• Contains state-of-the-art computer labs to support student learning 24/7.
• Operable windows have been placed to optimize views and day lighting with sunshades, high performance glass, and
perimeter-zoned photocell direct/indirect light fixtures.
• Exterior envelope and building systems are designed for energy efficiency with a concerted effort to use sustainable materials and finishes where appropriate.

(7) Engineering Solar Panels

• Installed in June 2009 in partnership with the Governor’s Energy Office.
• 18.9-kW solar array produces more than 25,000 kWh per year and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of the
building by 18.3 metric tons per year.
• The 108 panels tie directly into the building’s electrical system.

Lory Student Center Deck (West of Main Ballroom)
View the following sites from the deck.
(8a) Rockwell addition

• Addition is on the west side of Rockwell Hall and features high tech classrooms, student team rooms for collaborative learning, and conference/meeting rooms.
• Built to LEED Gold certification standards.

(8b) Indoor Practice Facility

The Indoor Practice Facility is a LEED Gold Certified building.

• Designed for use by multiple sports programs with a 70-yard synthetic turf field, 4-lane synthetic sprint track, batting and golf cages, and basketball/volleyball court.
• Uses natural day lighting, creatively cleans stormwater with vegetation before leaving site, and features water-conserving landscaping.
• LEED Gold Certified building.

(8c) Recreation Center

• Re-use of more than 75 percent of existing structural walls, floors, and roofs.
• Water efficient landscaping and 100 percent use of non-potable water.
• Built to LEED Gold certification standards.

(8d) Lagoon revitalization

• Project improves flood prevention by increasing detaining capacity on campus.
• Irrigation system uses untreated College Lake water instead of treated water.
• Wetland bioremediation of playing field runoff.
• Waterfall bioremediation and oxygenation of Lagoon water.

(8e) Academic Village

Aspen Hall opened in fall 2009 and is CSU’s first LEED Gold certified residence hall.
• On-site thermal plant features solar panels, 95 percent energy efficient boilers for heating water, and an innovative system that makes ice at night when electric rates are lowest and then reverses the process during the day to melt the ice and cool the building.
• Ram’s Horn Dining Center features a pulper that reduces water use and creates a compostable by-product from all food and paper waste.

(9a) Transit Center

• One of the first LEED buildings on campus.
• Recycled granite, concrete, and drywall were used in the construction of the facility.
• Recycled and/or salvaged 75 percent of construction, demolition, and land-clearing waste created in the construction process.

(9b) Aspen Grille

• Student-run restaurant that has been certified by the Green Restaurant Association as a “green restaurant,” one of only two in Colorado.
• Uses local food products, energy-efficient grills, biodegradable cleaning products, and low flow faucet aerators.
• Twenty varieties of “carbon neutral lettuce” are biked over from the campus Greenhouse.

(10) Lake Street Parking Garage

The Lake Street Parking Garage features a 9,000 square-foot solar panel array above the fourth tier.

• Opened in March 2010 on the site of an existing parking lot.
• Features four tiers with 900 parking stalls as well as street-level retail and office space. Covered bicycle parking is also available as well as spots reserved for low-emitting vehicles.
• Pursuing LEED Gold Certification and features a 9,000 square-foot solar panel array above the fourth tier.

(11) Microbiology Study Lounge

• Green roof demonstration in partnership with Horticulture and Landscape Architecture to determine best practices.

(12) Academic and Training Center

• Contains a state-of-the-art weight room, four private tutoring rooms, a general study hall with 30 computer workstations, and a multipurpose room for meetings.
• Trees provide building shade, glass is shielded from direct sun exposure, and efficient heating and cooling systems were installed to minimize operational costs.

Foothills Campus (overview of sites not part of walking tour)

 Solar Plant

The Research Innovation Center at the Foothills Campus includes an efficient design and an innovative hot-water preheating system.

• A public-private partnership among CSU, Xcel Energy, and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.
• 2,000 kW array with an annual expected output of 3,500,000 kWh, enough to cover 10 percent of the electricity consumed on the Foothills Campus.
• The 15 acre plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.5 million pounds each year.

Research Innovation Center (RIC)

• Hot-water preheating system at the boiler that allows the use of boiler exhaust to heat water for the building systems.
• Efficient design will help reduce natural gas use for the building.
• 57-kW photo voltaic array will be installed.


• Burns approximately 1,000 tons of wood chips from CSU Forest Service fire mitigation projects each year to heat water and displace natural gas use.
• The plant has a rating of 46 bhp.
• Biomass energy produces 96 percent fewer overall emissions than natural forest fires and 97 percent fewer than prescribed burning.

Pilot Composting Project

• Landscape and food waste from campus is collected.
• Student and staff volunteers help turn the compost.
• Goal is to expand from pilot project to full-scale project in the future.