The Central Park Recreation Center in Denver, Colorado is a new recreation facility featuring a natatorium with lap and leisure pools, group exercise facilities, cardio equipment areas, gymnasium, locker rooms, child care, meeting rooms, administrative areas and community spaces. It is adjacent to the 80 acre Central Park, the largest park in Denver, and will provide a much-needed amenity to the adjacent redeveloping community.
The Central Park Recreation Center (CPR) is located on land that was formerly the Stapleton International Airport. Stapleton was constructed in 1929 by the City of Denver and replaced in 1995 by the new Denver International Airport. Starting in 1990, civic and business leaders created the Stapleton Development Foundation to establish a framework for redeveloping Stapleton. In 1998 Forest City was selected as the master developer to implement the redevelopment, which included blend of housing and other community amenities. Stapleton is now a thriving and growing community with nearly 10,000 residents, six schools, 3 outdoor pools, 24 parks and over 200 shops, restaurants, offices and services. Stapleton attracts people who want to live close to downtown Denver and are interested in living more sustainably. The community activities, building standards, publications and programs include sustainability in their mission. For example, there is 100% builder participation in the Energy Star program and Stapleton residents currently have the highest recycling rate in the City of Denver at over 90%.
The City of Denver, Forest City and the Park Creek Metro District set a goal of earning LEED Gold certification in the LEED-NC 2.2 program. Toward that goal, the new two-story, 55,800 sf facility includes energy-efficient systems and equipment, on-site renewable energy from a 9.6 kW photovoltaic array, local materials, recycled content materials, low-VOC materials and other indoor air quality measures. Examples of some of the ‘green’ features incorporated into the building include:
- The new building is constructed on a degraded, urban infill site.
- The building is within ¼ mile of multiple city bus routes.
- Bike racks, locker rooms and showers are provided to promote alternative means of commuting.
- Open space totals over 205,000 square feet, well over the minimum 88,252 square feet required by the local zoning code.
- The site design restored over 53% of the site with native and adapted plants.
- The roof has white membrane roofing to reduce the heat island effect.
- Water-efficient irrigation systems paired with native and adapted plants use over 67% less water than the baseline design.
- Low flush and flow plumbing fixtures result in a savings of 50.6% compared to the baseline, important for a recreation center located in the arid Denver area.
- An efficient envelope, daylight harvesting, efficient lighting, demand controlled ventilation, heat recovery, high performance fans and pumps are just some of the strategies that resulted in a 32.1% savings in energy cost compared to a code-compliant building.
- Recycled and regional materials have been specified and are on track to achieve at least 20% of the total materials cost.
- Indoor air quality is protected with exceeding the minimum outside air required by LEED, use of CO2 detectors in required locations, and specification of low emitting materials for adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpets and composite woods.
- The project was awarded innovation credits for green education, low emitting furniture (Greenguard certification), exemplary performance in water efficiency, and exemplary performance in permanent open space.
The Central Park Recreation Center completed construction in January 2011. CPR was awarded LEED Gold Certification in the LEED for New Construction version 2.2 program in July 2011. A tri-fold brochure describing the sustainable features of the project can be downloaded here . The display board below was created by Design Balance and the CPR team for the Grand Opening and the LEED Green Education Innovation credit to illustrate the sustainable design features of the building and site. Download your copy here.