Jan. 30, 2009
Contact: David Boyd, BLM, (970) 947-2832

BLM’s new building in Silt being built using green principles


GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Construction of the new Bureau of Land Management building is well underway south of I-70, just east of the Silt exit. It’s being constructed with the environment and energy efficiency in mind.

Passersby who look closely can see examples of the green principles used in its construction. The walls for the 18,800 square-foot building, for instance, contain a variety of colored cinder blocks. These blocks are excess from other projects that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

“Since the walls will be covered with stucco, color of the blocks doesn’t matter,” said BLM Glenwood Springs Field Manager Jamie Connell. “This is just one example of the various steps being taken to make this building as green as we can.”

 When completed, the facility will include a wide variety of green and energy-efficient features, including water efficient landscaping and plumbing, energy efficient heating and cooling, paint and carpet minimizing organic volatile compounds, and construction to optimize passive solar heating.

“After a year of occupancy we will pursue certification in the LEED program,” Connell said.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System promotes sustainability by recognizing practices such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“The contractor has been particularly helpful in meeting the conservation aspects of this construction,” Connell said.

Bitzer Equities, LLC, the Denver firm awarded the contract, reports that construction is on schedule for the approximately 70 employees in Glenwood Springs to move to the Silt location in June.

The building is being built specifically to accommodate BLM, who will lease the building.

BLM began looking at new locations in 2007 in anticipation of its two current building leases expiring. The 2005 Energy Policy Act created a “pilot energy office” in Glenwood Springs to oversee increasing oil and gas development, which doubled the staff in Glenwood and necessitated a second location. The Energy Office includes BLM, Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees, who will all work out of Silt with the other field office employees when the building is complete.

“We simply had outgrown our space in Glenwood,” Connell said.  “We have been working closely with the Town of Silt and look forward to our summer move.”

The Field Office has been in the same location in West Glenwood for more than 25 years, and in its Energy Office on Grand Ave. since 2006.

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