Aug 162009
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

As of two weeks ago, yet another CSU building that moves the university toward its goal of environmental friendliness opened.

On the west corner of campus on Pitkin Street, Aspen Hall, the newest CSU residence hall, has been in the works since summer 2008.

The $17 million project offers freshman what university officials say is a state-of-the-art facility featuring a number of “green” operational attributes and “nicer landscaping, better quality and a much homier place to spend time when not in class,” said Brian Chase, the director of Facilities Management.

Rick Pott, the organization manager of Housing and Dining Services, said the building follows national guidelines for environmental sustainability under the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The buildings details really focus on obtaining (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) recognition,” Pott said.

LEED certification, the guidelines under the USGBC, has several levels –/Silver, Gold and Platinum — that adhere to a point scale. The points are determined from the number of LEED specifications followed in the project, which include:

Sustainable sites

Water efficiency

Energy and atmosphere

Materials and resources, and

Indoor environmental quality

Aspen Hall incorporates enough of the specifications to be considered for the Gold standard.

“We expect the building to cut back 40 percent in water usage and 23 percent in energy usage,” Pott said.

All 216 beds, which lie in regular dormitories, and six quad-style rooms that sleep four and are reserved for returning students in the facility are filled./

Eight minutes after the quad-style rooms went on the market, they were all spoken for.

“I think the innovative nature of Aspen Hall reflects positively on CSU and brings light to some necessary changes,” said Scott Huston, an incoming freshman who will live in the hall.

Each floor has a quiet study area in the northwest corner with picture windows to allow natural light, as well as lounge areas to provide a relaxing getaway for students.

In the basement, hall residents will find a brand new array of recreation equipment, including a pool table, foosball table and a state-of-the-art plasma screen TV.

“This is the wave of the future for campus,” Chase said.

Staff writer Kirsten Silveira can be reached at

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