News & Announcements

University of Denver Burwell Center for Career Achievement Wins AIA Colorado Award of Merit

A testament to outstanding engineering and design, AEI is pleased to announce the University of Denver’s Burwell Center for Career Achievement has been honored with an Award of Merit in AIA Colorado’s 2021 Design + Honor Awards program.

Designed to foster connection and stimulate interaction among the University of Denver’s (DU) diverse and varying user groups, the Burwell Center for Career Achievement creates a centralized academic hub on a highly visible site — complete with views of the Rocky Mountains and adjacent city core.

As a beacon of sustainability — from programming to infrastructure — this flagship facility is designed to meet stringent high-performance criteria and energy targets while optimizing overall occupant experience, comfort, and resource utilization.

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Featuring rooftop solar panels, the Burwell Center was designed to seek energy performance criteria 50 percent below the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 baseline for similar buildings.

Focusing on varying design considerations — such as operative temperature, humidity, air speed, local thermal comfort, and long-term temperature variations — the all-electric building incorporates a robust suite of sustainably driven engineered systems and measures, including:

  • Dedicated outdoor air systems with CO2 demand control ventilation
  • Indirect and direct evaporative cooling
  • Reduced lighting power density
  • Rooftop photovoltaic array
  • Variable refrigerant flow
  • Sensible heat recovery

AEI provided mechanical, electrical, piping/plumbing (MEP), fire protection, sustainable, and architectural lighting design services for this landmark project, incorporating selective MEP enhancements that specifically respond to and optimize the building’s unique cross-laminated mass timber structure.

Mass Timber Structural Solutions

Gaining industry-wide traction, mass timber structural solutions combine state-of-the-art technology with high-strength engineered wood products to create innovative, low-carbon buildings and systems that provide long-term durability and significantly reduce environmental impact.

As global efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change continue to rise, the architecture, engineering, and construction industry plays a pivotal role in advancing this goal. Through collaboration with clients and industry partners, we can help offset carbon footprint through landmark projects such as the Burwell Center — incorporating high-performance engineered systems and climate-sensitive building materials that benefit both local communities and our planet.

AEI selected a dedicated outdoor air system unit with CO2 demand control ventilation technology and low pressure drop for maximum efficiency.

The Burwell Center was constructed using cross-laminated mass timber, helping achieve energy performance targets while minimizing climate impact.

With the goal of transforming the educational experience, the Burwell Center for Career Achievement joins two additional buildings — a visionary campus trifecta — in welcoming students for the 2021 fall semester, a milestone event as universities gradually shift back toward in-person instruction after months of pandemic-induced virtual learning arrangements.

As a long-standing partner of Denver University, AEI is thrilled to see the project come to fruition. In addition to establishing a new campus core, the Burwell Center for Career Achievement provides an elevated platform for continued student growth and career development, networking and engagement opportunities, and alumni activities that will serve the institution long into the future.

Congratulations to AEI Denver and all project teams — including Lake|Flato, Shears Adkins Rockmore (SAR+), KL&A, Inc., and Martin/Martin, Inc. — on this noteworthy achievement.

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Wood materials are carried over into the interior, implemented in combination with warm lighting fixtures and high-performance HVAC systems to optimize occupant experience and thermal comfort.