After remodel, La Plata County Courthouse wins ‘gold’

Energy savings will cut costs in long run, spokeswoman says

The La Plata County Courthouse received a LEED certification after a $5.4 million remodel. Enlarge photo

Jonathan Romeo/Durango Herald

The La Plata County Courthouse received a LEED certification after a $5.4 million remodel.

After a $5.4 million remodel, the first floor of the La Plata County Courthouse has received a “gold” certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, otherwise known as LEED, from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The project began in February 2016 and was dedicated in April 2017. The monthslong effort remodeled about 16,000 square feet of the 70,000-square-foot building at 1060 East Second Ave.

The cost of the remodel was offset by a $1.9 million energy impact assistance grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and an additional $1.4 million from the U.S. General Services Administration.

“The remodel provided us with an opportunity to look at our efficiencies and resource use,” said Megan Graham, spokeswoman for La Plata County. “It’s careful use of county resources, and it’s just doing the right thing.”

To become LEED certified, a building is judged on a point system for various categories.

According to Graham, some of the significant changes include:

A 46 percent reduction in potable water use.A 39 percent reduction of water use on the entire site.A 50 percent reduction in connected lighting power.The installation of occupancy sensors in 92 percent of the rooms.Purchasing of green power at a rate of 8 kilowatts per square foot per year.Nearly 70 percent of the construction waste from the remodel was recycled.The use of low-emitting materials and non-mercury-based light bulbs.Improvement of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system and ventilation system.Graham said it won’t be clear how much the county may save in utilities costs until it can compare a full year with the updated system to the previous year.

Graham said the County Administration Building at 1101 East Second Ave. is also LEED-certified.

jromeo@durangoherald.com

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Megan Graham, spokeswoman for La Plata County, said the remodel, which focused on energy efficiency, will save the county money in the long run. Enlarge photo

Jonathan Romeo/Durango Herald

Megan Graham, spokeswoman for La Plata County, said the remodel, which focused on energy efficiency, will save the county money in the long run.

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