The City of Colorado Springs will host a public meeting today for locals to hear how the Pikes Peak Summit Complex project team plans to make the new 38,000-square-foot mountaintop visitors center a sustainable and environmentally friendly structure.
The meeting is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18 at City Auditorium (221 E. Kiowa St. in downtown Colorado Springs) and will include a presentation on how “the team is exploring pursuing a “Living Building Challenge” certification (via the International Living Building Institute) for the new summit house, which is expected to be completed in 2020. Construction is expected to begin early next year.
“Less than a dozen buildings in the world have gone through the process and achieved full certification; the challenge is significant,” said Stella Hodgkins, GE Johnson Construction’s sustainability specialist. “No certified Living Buildings currently exist in the same 14,000’ climate zone as Pikes Peak, so this is an opportunity to showcase the unique approaches required to construct a building that works harmoniously with the natural environment with minimal impact to its’ surroundings.”
The certification is given to buildings that meet criteria pertaining to seven categories: place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity and beauty, and performance. The facility will have to be operational for at least 12 months prior to receiving the certification.
“The new summit facilities are anticipated to exceed the U.S. Forest Service requirement of Silver level certification through the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program,” according to Hodgkins. “LBC certification is a high goal for the most aspirational projects from an environmental sustainability standpoint, but we believe the challenge is worth the effort for ‘America’s Mountain,’ a project of national and international significance.”
The meeting will also include project updates — including an unveiling of recent updates to the interior and exterior design by Colorado Springs-based design firm RTA Architects — and notices of future public meetings, according to a city-issued news release.
“The City of Colorado Springs/Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain believes that public input into the Summit Complex Project is important and we have strived throughout the design process to keep the public informed and actively engaged in the process,” Jack Glavan, manager of Pikes Peak, wrote in an email. “Pikes Peak is an iconic symbol of our City and region. Pikes Peak is special to our citizens and visitors for various reasons and we want to ensure that all ideas to improve the experience on Pikes Peak are captured and addressed. It is through the collaborative process of all that we can successfully complete a project that is sustainable, educational and enjoyable for not only the immediate timeframe, but for years to come.”