CU Boulder Recreation Center Renovation & Expansion

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

A project was recently completed to renovate CU Boulder’s existing 215,000 SF Recreation Center and to add 93,000 SF of new space to the facility. The updated recreation center provides CU Boulder students with expanded weight and cardio space, a new ice rink with stadium seating and overhead LED lighting, a new three-story rock-climbing gym with bouldering wall, an outdoor aquatics facility, a new indoor turf gym, four lighted rooftop tennis courts, a new entrance/lobby, and renovated indoor pools, gyms, and locker rooms.

From the outset, a top project goal was to design and build a one-of-kind recreation facility that emphasized energy efficiency and sustainability. RMH designed the healthy heating and cooling systems that play an instrumental role in reducing building energy consumption and expanding the boundaries of what can be achieved for a recreation center. For example, RMH designed an innovative heat recovery loop, which allows excess heat from a multitude of sources to be moved around the building to where it is needed (e.g., swimming pools, domestic hot water). Evaporative cooling, heat recovery, thermal displacement ventilation, radiant slab heating, and daylight harvesting are among the many other techniques enhancing the building’s energy profile. In addition, 750,000 gallons of water are saved each year by eliminating cooling towers for cooling purposes.

This highly sustainable recreation center earned LEED Platinum certification, the highest certification available through the LEED rating system.

Photo credit: Casey A. Cass-University of Colorado


  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC/CO), Engineering Excellence Awards, Merit Award, Building/Technology Systems Category, 2015
  • Engineering News-Record/ENR Mountain States, Best 2014 Projects, Green Projects, Merit Award, 2014

LEED Status

LEED-NC Platinum Certification


See a YouTube video featuring the award-winning project.


Read the article in March 3, 2014, edition of The Daily Journal entitled “CU Rec Center Renovation Seeking LEED Platinum.”