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Sustainability-LEED Buildings

Western Colorado University participates in the state’s High Performance Building Program. The university is committed to have all new buildings and renovations earn LEED-Gold certification or its equivalent. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of “high performance, green buildings.” The U.S. Green Building Council sets the standards.

What is LEED?

According to the U.S Green Building Council, a LEED-certified building features ample natural light, a sophisticated system to ensure proper indoor temperature and even carbon dioxide sensors that trigger fresh air flow when there are students in a classroom. Western is proud to meet LEED requirements for our recent construction and renovation projects. Read more about some of the sustainability features of Western Colorado University’s green buildings.

To learn about the U.S. Green Building Council, discover how our buildings are assessed, and see what it takes to create our green buildings, click the button below.

LEED Ratings

Western’s LEED-Certified Buildings

  • LEED Gold.
  • The University Center, which opened in January 2010, showcases several sustainability features and practices. It features large, south-facing windows that provide abundant natural lighting, 10 recycling centers, xeriscaping (which conserves water) and low-flow faucets. Onsite recycling during construction diverted 60 percent of the waste from the landfill and regional materials were used in the construction of the building. The pulper composter in the café generates rich soil for the university’s community garden.

  • LEED Silver.
  • The Borick Business Building, which opened in fall 2007, led the way as the model for environmentally sustainable building initiatives at Western Colorado University. The facility, which houses the The School of Business, was the first LEED-certified building on campus and the first in the Gunnison Valley. Environmental features include the reuse of roof —saved during the renovation of other buildings on campus—along with motion lighting and an energy-efficient ventilation system.

  • LEED Gold
  • Originally built in 1957, Kelley Hall reopened its doors in fall 2008 after undergoing a $5.5 million renovation. It houses the Behavioral & Social Sciences department, the Center for Environmental Studies and the Master in Environmental Management program. Kelley Hall is more than just a building — it’s part of the curriculum. Students researched and selected environmentally sustainable materials and design elements. Among those features are insulated windows, motion lighting, compact florescent lighting, low-flow faucets and a highly efficient boiler system. Building materials — from flooring to furniture to insulation — are from recycled or renewable resources, such as cork, bamboo, wood and paper fiber, and reclaimed hardwood. Environmental Studies students also spruced up Kelley Hall’s exterior by planting a xeriscape garden and other landscaping with low-water, native plants. Student efforts also resulted in the campus’ first solar panels for solar electricity and thermal systems. An Environmental Studies class applied for grants and helped design the solar panel system, including an educational center and laboratory to provide renewable energy information to the larger community.
  • Take a virtual tour of Kelley Hall

  • LEED Gold
  • The renovated Taylor Hall opened in 2010. It features two of the original teaching facilities in Gunnison, the original high school and original college building. Taylor Hall marries both buildings in a very updated design. Features that add to LEED certification include the recycled fabric used on the furniture, windows that open automatically to help circulate air in the building, biowales that hold water runoff, and reused, formerly exterior brick walls inside the building.

  • LEED Gold
  • Opened in March 2014, the entire facility is 120,000 square feet, with 201-foot trusses, comparable to a Boeing 777’s wingspan. Mountaineer Field House features a 200-meter track, three multipurpose courts, three volleyball courts, three basketball courts, batting and golf cages, a new athletic weight room, a fitness center, fitness classrooms, a 47-foot climbing wall, a foam pit with trampoline, a hot tub and new locker rooms at the adjacent pool, a new High Altitude Performance (HAP) lab, and coaches offices overlooking the track.

  • LEED Silver
  • The Pinnacles Apartments were built in 2012 and received LEED-Silver certification. Pinnacles is the newest residence hall on campus, with more than 200 bedrooms, each fully furnished with a full-size bed, a desk, a small bureau and a closet. Upperclassman students can move into two-, three- or four-bedroom apartments. Each comes will a generously sized kitchen and common room, full-sized stove/oven and refrigerator, a large set of cabinets and closet spaces. Two- and three-bedroom units each have one bathroom, while the five-person and four-bedroom units have two bathrooms. Pinnacles has computer labs with printers, kitchens, game rooms and a multipurpose room. It also features a unique, student-led greenhouse, with a hydroponics system that cleans all excess water for reuse.

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Visit Western

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Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.