Eco-briefs | Colorado third among top LEED states

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The U.S. Green Building Council has announced the top 10 states for new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications in 2012, and Colorado landed third on the per-capita list.

Colorado added 10,553,881 square feet of LEED-certified space, or 2.10 square feet per resident, in 2012 in the form of projects like the University of Colorado Boulder’s Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, the Denver Police Crime Lab, the Denver Animal Shelter, the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Laboratory Research Support Facility in Golden and the Red Hawk Elementary School in Erie. The total LEED-certified square footage in the state is now 62,180,180.

For per capita additions this year, Colorado fell just behind Virginia’s 3.71 square feet. California, Texas and New York also added significant numbers of LEED-certified space, with 54,252,993, 36,017,979 and 34,378,286 respectively, but those figures come out to less than two square feet per person.


The University of Colorado Boulder is installing a new array of solar panels that will double the campus’s solar power production.

“The 500-kilowatt system is capable of producing 725,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, enough to power about 100 average-sized houses,” according to a press release from the university. It will bring total capacity for solar power at CU to 1,000 kilowatt hours of energy. The new system, the largest on a campus that already has several rooftop solar panel installations, will be ground-mounted on 2.5 acres of land near Foothills Parkway on Colorado Avenue, in CU’s Research Park.

“This project complements and extends our commitment to leveraging solar energy throughout campus to provide power in a low-cost and responsible manner,” Moe Tabrizi, CU-Boulder’s campus sustainability director, said in a press release.

The installation is financed by rebates from Amendment 37, the mandate for 20 percent use of renewable energy statewide that was passed by voters in 2004, as well as by incentives through Xcel Energy, federal tax credits and third parties.