Colorado State University Engineering II Building
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

SLATERPAULL Architects, Inc.
Denver, Colorado, USA

Glazing Contractor
J.R. Butler, Inc.
Denver, Colorado, USA

Kawneer Products
Trifab® 451UT (Ultra Thermal) Framing
1600UT System™1 Curtain Wall
Versoleil™ SunShade – Outrigger System for Curtain Wall
GLASSvent® Windows 

Home to five academic departments – chemical and biological engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and atmospheric science – the Colorado State University College of Engineering has a clear vision: “to create a better world for future generations.” And when the university decided to build a new engineering building, it was created with that vision in mind. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, the 122,000-square-foot building, known as “Engineering II,” is a significant presence on the campus, housing classrooms, research facilities and administrative spaces.

Denver-based SLATERPAULL Architects, Inc. designed Engineering II, taking into account the university’s desire to not only achieve high levels of sustainable performance, but also to give the College of Engineering a “new image for the future.” The building, which was presented to the student senate and board of governors, was funded through a private donation from Colorado State alumnus Walter Scott, Jr. and his wife, Suzanne, as well as through increased facility fees from students. 

“The whole university – from students to the board of governors was involved – the university really empowered the architect during the design process to see what they could do and how they could create a beautiful, sustainable building,” said Patrick Murray, major project sales – Western Area, Kawneer North America. “The school and the design team not only wanted to achieve a high level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®*) certification, but also ultra thermal performance. Each product was carefully selected to accomplish these goals.” 

To provide daylighting, sun control, high thermal performance and energy efficiency as well as superior aesthetics, Kawneer’s Trifab® 451UT (Ultra Thermal) Framing, 1600UT System™1 Curtain Wall, Versoleil™ SunShade – Outrigger System – for Curtain Wall and GLASSvent® Windows were used throughout the building. During the design and specification phase, Kawneer helped provide modeling to demonstrate the products’ performance capabilities. J.R. Butler, Inc. in Denver was selected as the glazing contractor and was tasked with the final fabrication and installation of approximately 32,000 square feet of curtain wall, storefront and sunshades, which included custom back pans and various sunshade sizes. 

Built on the success of Kawneer’s flagship 1600 Curtain Wall platform, the 1600UT System™1 curtain wall delivers the utmost in energy efficiency with high thermal performance, versatility, reliability and value. Because the curtain wall features an engineered polymer thermal separator and can accommodate double or triple insulating glass, it provided the team with options for performance ranges that would suit the project. The Trifab® 451UT framing system, which employs a dual Isolock® lanced and debridged thermal break, also enhances the thermal performance of Engineering II and meets the project’s U-factor requirements.

Situated on the exterior of Engineering II are Kawneer’s Versoleil™ SunShades. These versatile sunshades deliver shading capabilities that reduce solar heat gain, which helps maximize energy savings and reduce glare. Not only did the sunshades help the university achieve energy goals for the building, they also helped earn LEED® credits. Perfect for the extreme Colorado weather, Versoleil™ SunShades are engineered and tested to withstand combined wind, snow and dead loads.

In addition to Kawneer’s ultra thermal products and systems, the Engineering II building, which is seeking LEED® certification, incorporates several other sustainable features including natural ventilation in the atrium space; daylighting controls; evaporative cooling; heat recovery; 33 percent lighting power density savings; and hot and cold water provided by a high-efficiency central plant. And, according to a study conducted by Ambient Energy, the three-story building is predicted to save 50.3 percent in energy usage and 43.5 percent in energy costs.

Engineering II brings students, faculty and researchers together under one roof, encouraging collaboration. With its intricate aesthetics and high performance, the building is a showcase for the university to help attract new students and make the university, as a whole, stronger. 

*LEED is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).