Durango’s Newest Neighborhood Receives LEED Certification

Three Springs Honored With LEED Certification for Two Buildings in the Mercado District – First in Southwest,  Colorado

Three Springs announced today that two new buildings in the Mercado District of Three Springs are the first in southwestern Colorado to receive LEED Certification for New Construction – NC from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Three Springs Receives Leed Certification

According to Patrick Vaughn,  President of GF Properties Group, LLC, a business unit of the Southern Ute Growth Fund that owns the 125 and 175 Mercado Street buildings, “Three Springs is dedicated to raising the bar for sustainable and socially responsible design/construction practices for high performance buildings and we are pleased to be at the forefront with this distinctive certification.” 

LEED’s third-party certification program promotes an integrated design approach and recognizes performance in site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency/optimization, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation. The USGBC’s LEED rating system is widely recognized as the industry’s premier tool to ensure responsible green building practices. The benefits of building green are numerous and include: environmental benefits, such as protecting ecosystems and biodiversity; economic benefits, such as reduced operating costs, and improved employee productivity and satisfaction; and health and community benefits, such as improved air, thermal, and acoustic environments resulting in enhanced occupant comfort and health.

The project team was comprised of local firms Tierra Group LLC, another Southern Ute Growth Fund company (Project Management), FCI Constructors Inc. (General Contractor), and Scottsdale-based Nelsen Partners (Architects).  

The two mixed-use buildings (over 51,000 sf) are located at 125 and 175 Mercado Street and were completed in late 2007/early 2008.  Occupants currently include Alpine Bank, Anytime Fitness, Three Springs Information Center, GF Development Group LLC, GF Properties Group LLC, GF Private Equity Group LLC, and Red Cedar Gathering Company LLC.  And Digs Market Café, a 4,000 sf restaurant/deli/bar at Mercado Street level,  just opened in April.

Specific implementations to obtain LEED-NC certification for the buildings include:

  • Sophisticated storm water management system to limit and treat runoff
  • High efficiency systems including Computerized Energy Modeling employed during design to guide design decisions and optimize system performance
  • Reduction in building water use (over 30%) due to water conserving  fixtures
  • Diversion of waste materials from landfills (over 77%) to the on-site construction recycling facility
  • Use of post-consumer recycled building structural steel (approximately 90%)
  • Use of wood-based materials and products sustainably grown and harvested
  • Superior ventilation strategies meeting or exceeding stringent national standards
  • Use of low emitting materials with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) in adhesives/sealants and paints/coatings; certified carpet systems; and composite wood and agrifiber products with no added urea-formaldehyde resins
  • Use of high fly ash content in concrete
  • Superior consideration for natural day lighting and views
  • Green Cleaning Program for housekeeping and maintenance

“In the future, we hope that many more Durango buildings will earn LEED certification for new construction.  Through sustainable practices, we all need to contribute to a growing green-building economy,” says Vaughn.