I’ve written before about LEED-certified high-rise condo projects in the Big Apple (and the “is it green enough?” controversy surrounding one of them) so to switch it up here’s some related news out of the Mile High City: A new 41-story luxury high-rise gracing Denver’s skyline has just attained LEED-NC certification.

The 496-unit SPIRE has bragging rights as not only the sole LEED Certified condo tower in Denver but in all of Colorado. It’s also one of the largest LEED Certified residential high-rises in the entire country. The project broke ground in 2007 and was built by JE Dunn Construction Company and developed by The Nicholas Partnership. Denver-based RNL oversaw the sustainable design aspects and acted as LEED administrator. 

As detailed in an official release, here's some of the features that earned the swank and sustainable SPIRE its LEED status: 

• Over 90% of all regularly occupied spaces provide direct line of sight views and access to daylight.

• 100% Green Power, renewable energy contract to provide renewable electricity for the building.

• 61.4% reduction in potable water consumption from a calculated baseline by using native plants, drip irrigation and moisture sensors.

• 26.5% reduction in potable water use due to utilization of reduced-flow lavatory, kitchen sink faucets and shower heads, dual flush toilets, and waterless urinals.

•  Improved Indoor Environmental Quality through enhanced air filtration, low-emitting materials for paint, coatings and carpets.

• Commitment to recycling with a dedicated single stream recycling chute located on all occupied floors.

• Transportation options that augment a 97/100 walk score (one of the highest scores in Denver) include 180+ bike racks, motor scooter and motorcycle parking, discounts on Low Emission Vehicle Parking spaces, Connect by Hertz car sharing service located in the ground and adjacency to RTD light rail and the city’s B-Cycle program. 

Not too shabby. A big congrats to all involved. If you're interested in what green high-rise living in Denver looks like, take a gander at the SPIRE website


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

SPIRE: The Mile High City's mighty green new edition
The 496-unit SPIRE becomes Colorado's first LEED-certified residential high-rise building.