The center and its partners are striving to create a low-carbon campus that’s sustainable and regenerative. As design, construction and operations planning evolve, here’s a peek at some of the elements of sustainability you’ll find when our doors open:

The Largest Sewer-Heat Recovery System in North America

The campus will source nearly 90 percent of its heating and cooling from an underground sewer pipeline — a recycled source of thermal energy. When complete, the system will be the largest sewer-heat recovery system in North America. Learn more>>

Building Energy Efficiency

All new buildings at the National Western Center will meet a LEED Gold or higher rating.

Water Conservation

The National Western Center is working to conserve water on campus through water-efficient landscapes and buildings. Partners used an innovative “one water” approach to planning water use that targets the right source of water, for the right use, at the right time. In addition, the Hydro building at CSU Spur will feature robust, collaborative water research, and showcase and educate visitors about water issues and conservation.

Restoration of the South Platte River

The cleanup and restoration of the eastern bank of the South Platte River on the campus will improve land and water health, opening up opportunities for recreation and environmental education. CSU Spur is also hosting consistent BioBlitz efforts to identify and track the species in the natural landscape along the river.

Community Solar Gardens

In addition to being yet another renewable energy source for our buildings, our solar gardens will contribute toward reduced- or no-cost solar energy for some Denver residents and businesses, as part of the city’s Renewable Denver Community Solar initiative.

Reuse of Historic Buildings and Materials

Key historic buildings will be preserved and adaptively reused, allowing for a meaningful integration of past, present and future — and keeping their materials from landfills. Historic architecture and artifacts from the site such as stone, brick, steel and wood will be incorporated into the campus design.

Sustainability Programming, Education and Research

As a campus focused in part on education and ag innovation, the National Western Center will have a variety of sustainability-oriented programs for people of all ages, most notably at CSU Spur. Learn more>>


The campus will introduce new multimodal connections and options, reducing the need for car-based travel and associated carbon emissions. It will feature new bike trails, walking and running paths, and a commuter rail transit station, and new bridges will shorten distances for local trips through and around the campus.


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