“The Institute for the Built Environment celebrated its 25th anniversary on June 6 at the new Nancy Richardson Design Center on campus. There, one of its two “Changemaker” awards went to Hartley, who helped cobble together funding from various university sources to support IBE’s first two years. IBE was envisioned as a place where faculty in fields like construction management, landscape architecture and interior design could collaborate. Since then, it’s grown into a globally recognized organization that uses multidisciplinary teams of faculty, students and industry professionals to provide services that simplify and amplify sustainability efforts. It has been named one of CSU’s Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence.
“We’re not just about buildings now, we’re about neighborhoods and cities,” Dunbar says. Small communities throughout Colorado’s might be able to use the institute when master planning for revitalizing their downtowns, for instance. More financial support is needed for matching funds to help communities cover the cost of such projects.
IBE’s list of accomplishments is long as well, and Dunbar says one of its best projects was among its first: a sustainability training program for the Poudre School District, now recognized as one of the most “green” school districts in the country. In more recent years, the institute has been involved in creating one of the nation’s first LEED-certified high schools (Fossil Ridge in Fort Collins); diverting waste from the Foothills Mall redevelopment; planning for the future of the Mason Street corridor; and helping the city of Fort Collins secure the state’s first LEED v4 Platinum certification, for its Utilities Administration Building. In addition, IBE Director of Research Jennifer Cross has been leading an assessment of green schools’ impact on student health and performance for the past four years, thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“We’ve helped CSU and the city be more sustainable, but we want to do more,” he says. “Most people in northern Colorado don’t know they have an internationally known institute here.””
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