Staff News

NCAR Visitor Center - One-Day Closure - Saturday 10/25 more info>

Center “Green” renovations

What if all projects could come in under budget, improve functionality, and have strong conservation credentials? That’s just what happened at Center Green 1, where Facilities Management & Sustainability (FMS) recently upgraded the fire suppression system for the parking lot beneath the building.

The previous fire suppression system had reached the end of its useful life. FMS replaced it with a new rust-resistant system that uses galvanized steel pipes and is pressurized with nitrogen rather than regular air, ensuring an extended lifetime for the system when compared to the old system. A longer lifetime means getting more use out of the materials, which is not only environmentally friendly but also provides better value to UCAR/NCAR.

In addition to coming in under budget, the fire suppression project emphasized materials recycling. As part of the larger parking garage renovation, FMS recycled roughly 40% of the 1,500 cubic feet of material removed during the project, including approximately 5,000 square feet of fiberglass insulation, 8,000 square feet of gypsum board ceiling tile, and 8,000 pounds of old piping (including 100% of the previous system’s pipes).

Across the United States, construction waste accounts for 45% of all materials sent to landfills. FMS is following the City of Boulder’s lead in working to reduce the 170 million tons of construction and demolition waste thrown away in the country each year.

Watch for more updates from FMS as it works to make the organization’s building maintenance and construction activities as sustainable as possible.