Snowmass clubhouse is a LEED-er |

Snowmass clubhouse is a LEED-er

The Aspen Skiing Co. continues to walk its talk, as it was recently announced that the new Snowmass Golf Clubhouse achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The Skico is now responsible for the only two LEED structures in the ski industry, the other being the Sundeck atop Aspen Mountain. There are only seven LEED-certified buildings in the state and only four at the level that the clubhouse achieved.The LEED program is a certification system established by the U.S. Green Building Council. There are 167 LEED-certified buildings in the country. The clubhouse is 100 percent wind-powered and is heated and cooled by water-source heat pumps in a nearby pond. Half the wood used for the structure is certified as sustainably harvested, and the carpet is recyclable. The bathrooms use dual flush toilets and shower-heads that beat the local energy code. The building itself surpasses the local energy code by more than 40 percent. “This project really is exemplary,” the Skico’s vice president of real estate, Don Schuster, said in a press release. He was a leading figure in the project’s development. “When I show someone around and tell them that the building is heated and cooled without a gas-fired boiler, they can’t believe it,” Schuster added. “You can only fully understand the beauty of the building when you realize what a major role sensitivity to the environment played during the development process.” The Skico had been working to attain the certification for two years. Project manager Gert Van Moorsel called the clubhouse the Skico’s “most successful environmental building project to date, using some of the most sustainable building practices available.” There were also several environmental benefits beyond the structure itself. The golf course was redeveloped with a radically reduced irrigated turf area, an improved storm drainage system and a state-of-the-art irrigation system that is saving millions of gallons of water a year. There was also a stream diversion project that has improved the habitat of the nearby fishery and reduced the sediment load of Brush Creek. While the Skico is leaps and bounds ahead of the ski industry with two LEED-certified buildings, it still has big plans. The Skico now has its sights set on Base Village, where it hopes to construct, with the help of partner Intrawest, four more LEED-certified buildings.Steve Benson’s e-mail address is

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