AMLI Interlocken Goes Green with LEED

AMLI Interlocken Goes Green with LEED

June 11, 2013

From The Broomfield Enterprise, By Megan Quinn

When its first units are completed later this month, the AMLI at Interlocken apartment complex aims to be one of Broomfield's most energy-efficient residences.

The 343-unit AMLI at Interlocken, 401 Interlocken Blvd., is applying for a LEED Gold certification. The complex will include energy-efficient appliances, special HVAC systems, drought-tolerant landscaping and other green features.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a national third-party verification of green buildings.

Of AMLI's three properties in Broomfield, AMLI at Interlocken will be the first to target LEED Gold certification, which it hopes to achieve by the end of the summer, said Lisa McGee, a marketing director for the project.

The shift toward environmentally-friendly buildings is a recent trend for AMLI and other residential developers, said AMLI vice president Andy Mutz.

"LEED is gaining brand recognition, which helps our marketing" to people who want to live green lifestyles, he said. "At the same time, we think it's the right thing to do. ... Small steps add up to bigger environmental differences, especially in Colorado, where water conservation is a bigger issue than in some of our other markets."

Mutz said LEED buildings often cost more because they require more specialized materials. Hard costs can go up by about 3 to 5 percent when building a LEED-standard apartment, he said.

Yet there's a tradeoff: High-efficiency appliances and other resource-conserving features ultimately help lower the building's operating costs and residents' utility costs, he said.

LEED certifications aren't just a trend in the housing market. It also is widespread throughout the state. In 2012, Colorado ranked third in the country for new LEED-certified buildings, according to a January report from the U.S. Green Building Council. Washington D.C. and Virginia came in first and second.

Colorado reported 99 new LEED projects certified in 2012, which equals about 2.1 square feet per capita, the report stated.

One Broomfield building was on the 2012 certification list: The Eos office building in Interlocken, which achieved the highest-level Platinum status, according to the Boulder County Business Report.

Other Broomfield buildings that have received LEED certifications include the Vail Resorts Management Company, the Broomfield jail addition, several of the Mountain View Corporate Center buildings on Airport Way and North Metro Fire Rescue District headquarters on Lamar Street, according to a USGBC database.

When North Metro's headquarters building opened in 2010, it featured low-flow bathroom fixtures to cut water consumption in half and roof-mounted solar panels. The building also was constructed from some recycled construction materials.

To achieve a LEED certification, builders must meet or exceed certain standards to earn points in categories such as water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and innovation. Depending on a building's overall score, the building can receive a Silver, Gold or Platinum status.