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Unprecedented Efforts To Cut Carbon Footprint In Downtown Denver Breaks Ground

GSA Begins Modernizing the 25-year-old César E. Chávez Memorial Building

GSA # 10703

January 27, 2011
Contact: Sally Mayberry
Sally.mayberry@gsa.gov

DENVER – Today, the U.S. General Services Administration will break ground on a massive modernization project at the César E. Chávez Memorial Building that will boost our clean energy economy and create jobs by transforming the outdated federal building into an innovative, state-of-the-art, high-performing green building.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. By making smart choices now, we are lowering our energy costs, saving taxpayer money, and giving innovative American businesses a chance at competing with any business in the world. This project is part of our broader efforts to make investments now that will create jobs immediately and build our economy for the long term by fostering a new, clean energy economy.

The building, located at 1244 Speer Blvd., is expected to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification, meeting federal energy and water conservation goals by combining exceptional architectural form with state-of-the-art building systems. The highlight of this modernization project will be a new state-of-the-art building exterior comprised of an aluminum-and-glass curtain wall system that will 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. Lastly, this project will provide significant replacement of critical building system mechanical equipment. New building controls and equipment will work in concert with the new exterior to bring the energy consumption and carbon footprint of the building to levels usually only met with new construction and the latest technologies.

“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.

The César E. Chávez Memorial Building is in a developed urban area within the Denver city limits known as the Golden Triangle. Currently the area is experiencing renewed growth along mixed-use and transit-oriented development models as Denver’s urban population expands. Working with the city of Denver, local neighborhood groups, and the local arts community, GSA is planning to develop an Art Park. The park creates an opportunity for GSA to engage more community stakeholders while actively contributing to the overall site plan and connecting the space to this emerging art district. This highly visible parcel of land will display three sculptures by Mexican artist Sebastian, titled "Three Movements."

This 180,000-square-foot office building is home to five federal agencies, approximately 290 workers. GSA awarded the contract to a design-build team led by GE Johnson Construction on March 23, 2010.The design-build delivery method helps the project meet its tight schedule, as parking garage demolition and other work can begin while the building design details are finalized.The project is expected to be complete in November 2012.

The design-build team includes GE Johnson (serving as the design-builder); Tryba Architects (serving as design architect and architect of record); Jacobs (serving as the construction manager for the GSA); Martin and Martin (structural engineers), BCER Engineering (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer), Walker Parking (parking consultant), and ME Group (serving as the commissioning agent for the GSA.)

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• Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars and $30 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.
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