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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

1800 Larimer in Denver, Colorado by RNL Design

June 11th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: RNL Design

RNL designed this 22-story office tower in downtown Denver at 18th & Larimer Streets. It is the first high-rise office building to be built in Denver’s Central Business District (CBD) in more than 25 years. The building offers state of the art class AA lease office space. This project is sustainably designed and is certified LEED-CS Platinum. Featuring high 9’6” ceilings with nearly full height glass and large 24,500 sf floor plates, it is a very attractive draw for Denver businesses.

High-rise office Building (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

  • Architects: RNL Design
  • Project: 1800 Larimer
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • RNL Professional Services: Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture
  • LEED Certification: USGBC Certified LEED-CS Platinum; Pursuing LEED-CI Platinum for Xcel Energy tenant space (13 floors)

Full Height Glass (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

  • Gross area: 789,800 SF, 413 – Vehicle Garage
  • Date completed : May 2010 – Core & Shel
  • Program of spaces: 4,800 SF – Retail, 545, 000 SF – Office, 240,000 SF – Garage
  • Client: Westfield Development Company
  • Photographer: © Frank Ooms

The abstract exterior View (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

Architect of record:

  • Richard T. Anderson, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Principal, RNL
  • Michael Brendle, FAIA, Design Principal, RNL
  • Ron Izzo, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal, RNL
  • Sarah Rege, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Associate, RNL

LEED-CI Platinum-pursuing interior space (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

Interior designer:
1800 Larimer Core & Shell interior design performed by RNL including lobby, 2nd floor fitness/lockers and all restrooms
Floors 3-16 also designed by RNL for Xcel Energy Tenant Space – USGBC Registered as pursuing LEED-CI Platinum

The seamless blending of interior and exterior (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

MEP – Swanson Rink

  • Tim L. Chiddix, PE, VP – Mechanical
  • Brook Zion, Mech. Project Eng.
  • Greg Korstad, PE, LEED AP, Vice President, Electrical
  • Don Paus, Mechanical Senior Designer (Plumbing)

The Lobby connects (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

Structural – Jirsa & Hedrick

  • Steven T. Jirsa, Principal
  • Ed Buteyn, Principal

Civil – J.F. Sato & Associates
J. F. Sato & Associates

  • Alan Pattison, Project Manager

Under Floor Air Distribution system (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)



  • Marc Stutzman, ASLA, LEED AP, Associate Principal

General contractor:
Mortenson Construction

  • Dale Heter, Construction Executive, Mortenson Construction
  • John McCorkle, Project Manager, Mortenson Construction

Green Roof Top Overlooking (Image Courtesy Frank Ooms)

The building features a large landscaped roof garden that is accessed from the 2nd floor level along with a health club and other amenities. It sits atop the parking garage which accommodates 413 vehicles on both above and below grade levels. The building lobby includes a café with seating area, a major art wall and a bank with dedicated parking located in the Level 1 garage.

The building sets back from 18th Street to form a plaza on both 18th and Larimer Streets with landscape elements that flow through the tall, structural glass glazed lobby. 1800 Larimer is the new Regional Headquarters for Xcel Energy. RNL also provided the interior design for this LEED Platinum-pursuing tenant space.


At the city scale, 1800 Larimer sets the foreground for a dense grouping of high-rises in the CBD.  The abstract exterior forms a graphic and kinetic face to Downtown.  This distinct foreground amongst a collection of mid-80’s and older structures delineates an innovative and welcomed shift in the Denver skyline.  The first high-rise in downtown to present a new face to observers on each of its four sides, 1800’s distinctive exterior conceals a remarkably efficient floor plate. By creating a kinetic and reflective display of architecture, different than anything seen in Denver before, 1800 Larimer presents a distinctive, enlivened and fresh face to downtown.

The building is also graced with a visual crest, slightly triangulated to reflect light during the day and express its complexity by night. This top, supported on four corner stilts, connects to the lobby to create an updated version of the visual, classical composition of top, middle and base.

At the street the building reveals a completely different design statement.  The resolution of tower and lobby communicate the project’s efficient floor design and align with its dynamic exterior, meeting at the street.  The street level design is refined and sophisticated, creating an active, pedestrian friendly streetscape.  A glassy transparent garage explodes into a 30’ high clear structural glass tree lined lobby.  The trees are placed on each side of the glass to allow the interior/exterior to blend seamlessly.  Entries are signified by soaring aluminum knife edged wings.  The lobby connects to the sidewalk allowing 1800 to reverse its skyward demeanor and settle into a dynamic calm.  The lobby draws passerby’s into the soaring space with materials that are both a part of the tower and yet are appropriately scaled to be comfortable and attractive at street level.

Elevators lead to a 17,000 square foot green roof top overlooking the street above the garage.  Communal spaces expand visually into the garden which provides a space for taking a break and enjoying lunch.  Passing clouds are reflected on the large blue glass panel arranged intentionally above the garden, allowing for continuous change in the landscape.

Certified LEED-CS Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, 1800 Larimer’s proximity to public transportation, 43.6% reduction in water usage over current code requirements and the use of an Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) system are a few of the elements that make it one of the most sustainable buildings in the city.  20% of the core and shell materials contained recycled content, while another 20% were regionally harvested.  In addition to an energy cost savings of more than 20% over current standards, 35% of core and shell power will come from Green Power through WindSource®. Additional sustainable features include:

Energy Efficiency

The building is primarily conditioned by an under floor air distribution system served by a rooftop fan systems with chilled water and heating coils. Air systems have full economizer capability and supply and return fans are equipped with variable frequency drives (VFDs). Perimeter zones are conditioned by underfloor fan coils with electric heat reheat coils. These recover waste heat off the ceiling of each level for perimeter heating. This system enhances Indoor Air Quality and saves energy while allowing for greater individual control and thermal comfort. This results in 22.6% or $169,855/yr Cost Savings and 28.1% or 9,871 MBtu/yr Energy Savings.

Water Conservation

Water efficient landscaping using a high efficiency drip irrigation and weather station reduces potable water consumption for irrigation by 65.9%. Water conserving fixtures, including waterless urinals, reduce potable water use by 43.6% or 1,713,227 gallons/year.

Storm Water Vault

All stormwater on the project site is routed through a storm water vault sized for a 100-yr flood.  This results in a 66.67% decrease in rate and a 31.51% decrease in quantity runoff. Through the use of a sand filter basin at the base of the vault, 80-83% of the Total Suspended Solids (TTS) and 72% of the Total Phosphorus (TP) are removed.

Roof Terrace

Maximizes open space and restores habitat with 24% of the total site area having native planting through the use of a vegetated roof. In addition, this reduces heat island effect and contributes to the storm water retention and filtration.

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Categories: Building, Offices, Tower

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