Green pools “LEED” the way and the Campus Recreation Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) is the first public building in southern Colorado to earn gold certification status from the U.S. Green Building Council.
In certifying buildings, the council developed Leadership in
Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) to review green criteria
ranging from energy efficiency to the use of natural light. Campus
recreation natatoriums can be socially fun as well as soothing
sanctuaries, and both sophistication and technology increase every
year as the UCCS Campus Recreation Center demonstrates.
It all started with the demand for recreational areas by the
growing student body. The inadequate 1988 recreation facility had
been built when the student body was approximately 50 percent of
its current level; subsequently, it became unable to meet its
recreational needs. UCCS retained Sink Combs Dethlefs for the
planning and design of the new 54,000-square-foot Campus Recreation
Center, and Counsilman-Hunsaker for the design of the
4,300-square-foot indoor recreational pool.
Since the center was built using student fees, the Students for
Environmental Awareness and Sustainability advocated that the new
building be officially certified through LEED. The project received
two grants from the Governor’s Energy Office for its pursuit
of high performance design, and the Farnsworth Group was retained
for green consultation services.
Built in 2007, the Campus Recreation Center includes innovative
features such as solar thermal panels, insulated concrete form
walls and low-maintenance landscaping. Consequently, student
encouragement resulted in the center being 30 percent more energy
efficient and 38 percent more water efficient than traditional
buildings. The center offers panoramic views of Pikes Peak with a
two court gymnasium circled by an elevated running track, a fitness
center, a 12-foot boulder wall, aerobics and dance room, cafe,
multi-purpose room, offices for the Campus Recreation Department,
and a state-of-the-art indoor recreation pool.
The development of the campus recreation pool at UCCS represents
the changing facet of the recreation scene at colleges and
universities. The campus enrolls approximately 8,000 students
annually, who were looking for something to transcend a flat water
Dimensional features of the recreation pool include the thrill of
mounting the stairs to the exhilaration of sliding down into the
water, making the university’s waterslide an extremely
popular attraction. A socializing aquatic feature is the quiet
swirling waters of the vortex, beckoning students to enter and
enjoy its hydro effects. Four adjacent swim lanes offer a stress
elixir for students wishing to lap swim in a rigorous workout.
After fun in the pool, a plunge down the waterslide, or a good
physical swim, the whirlpool spa offers therapeutic relaxation for
tired muscles or a warm soaking experience after finals.
NUTS & BOLTS
Aquatic space: 10,000
Year opened: 2007
Cost: $12 million
Dream feature: 4,324 square foot leisure pool, waterslide, vortex, whirlpool spa.
- Dream Designer: Counsilman-Hunsaker
- Architect: Sink Combs Dethlefs
- Chemical Control Systems:BECS Technology
- Cleaner Vacuums: Harmsco
- Filters: Nemato Corp.
- Handicapped Equipment/Pool Lift System:RMT Aquatics
- Heaters: Laars Heating Systems
- Ladders/Grab Bars: S.R. Smith
- Pumps: Aurora Pumps
- Sanitizations Systems: Arch Chemicals
- Waterslides: Splashtacular
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