Water Campus Redevelopment
The 36-acre Denver Water Operations Complex Redevelopment – recipient of the 2021 ACEC Excellence in Engineering Grand Conceptor Award – is a true model for sustainable design and one of the most multi-facetted sustainable projects in the nation. Its many challenging goals – including energy and water efficiency, water reuse, and zero on-site carbon emissions – required intricate campus-wide solutions.
The design needed to strike a balance between providing functional and efficient spaces, incorporating design concepts that would provide wellness and benefit to the employees, and remaining within the project budget as a responsibility to the ratepayers. Denver Water utilized the design concepts presented by the design team, garnered feedback from the employees through feedback sessions, and provided a continuous feedback loop on constructability and costs.
IMEG implemented many unique and innovative designs to support key project goals, including:
- The One Water concept, which uses the right water for the right use and minimizes consumption through efficiency whenever possible. The campus uses potable water treated and provided by Denver Water for potable requirements while maximizing reclamation and recycled water for other non-potable uses. To conserve this critically precious potable water resource, no water is used for evaporative building cooling, which is nearly unheard of for a campus of this size.
- On-site wastewater treatment, including an innovative on-site treatment system in the administration building lobby.
- The zero on-site carbon emissions goal, which required a primary heating source other than burning fossil fuels. IMEG implemented the application of air-to-water low ambient air source heat pumps, which are successfully used throughout Europe but are rarely used in the U.S., along with water-to-water magnetic heat recovery chillers.
- Campus energy recovery. A central heat recovery system, with 70,000 gallons of thermal storage, can achieve system efficiency near 30 COP.
The Denver Water Operations Complex Redevelopment’s One Water framework, combined with its LEED and net-zero energy goals, set many new precedents for sustainable project delivery. Denver Water can leverage its status as a water utility to help distribute these design concepts, using the campus as an educational tool across the Colorado market and beyond.
Watch the Grand Conceptor Award project video produced by the American Council of Engineering Companies.
ACEC National Engineering Excellence Grand Conceptor Award
ACEC Colorado Engineering Excellence Grand Conceptor Award
Building Design + Construction 2021 Building Team Award Platinum Award