Hampshire College’s R.W. Kern Center. Designed by Bruner/Cott & Associates, the 17,000-square-foot structure is the largest higher education project to earn the “Living Building” green certification.
reen building is a prevalent trend in the design/build industry. Colorado is a leader in sustainable building innovations and practices. The state ranks 1st in the Top 10 States for LEED building. The state is also a leader in the movement toward net-zero energy districts as a partner of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Communities Alliance. Net zero energy districts comprise a group of net-zero buildings that generate as much energy as they consume over the course of a year. Yet Net Zero is only one aspect of sustainable building.
Concrete Flooring – The Foundation of Net Zero Buildings
Most net-zero buildings install concrete flooring, and for good reason. Concrete is a sustainable building material that meets the Green Building Council’s LEED® rating system. Thanks in large part to the advances in concrete flooring product formulas, low VOC concrete flooring contributes to clean indoor air quality. Additionally, concrete flooring embedded with tubing can provide economical, non-toxic space heating and cooling. Concrete radiant floors reduce energy requirements by as much as 60%.
Elevating Existing Spaces to LEED® Standards
Whether a space is a remodeled warehouse, apartment building or modern office, concrete flooring not only meets LEED® green standards, concrete floors can be the basis of a design direction.
“Many white box projects we service require removing carpet adhesives from concrete floors,” says Mark Marone, General Manager of Custom Concrete Prep and Polish. “Architects, designers and space planners often ask us to grind and seal the exposed original concrete flooring. This creates LEED® certified flooring and a natural palette onto which unlimited decorative design options may be applied, such as microtoppings. Applying a high polish or decorative microtopping to an existing concrete floor can transform not only the floor, but the entire space.” “We are proud to offer sustainable traditional and decorative concrete flooring options that meet the Green Building Council’s LEED® requirements.”