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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.

Denver Central Platte Campus in Denver, Colorado by RNL

June 19th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: RNL

Denver Central Platte Campus (DCPC), in Denver, Colorado, was designed and constructed for the City and County of Denver’s Public Works Department. The project is 105,000 sf and is sited on an 18-acre campus. This one stop shop provides state-of-the-art facilities for Fleet Maintenance, Solid Waste Management, Street Maintenance, Traffic Engineering and Right-of-Way Enforcement, including office/warehouse, vehicle maintenance building, covered and heated vehicle storage, fuel and wash facilities and salt and magnesium chloride storage. Located along the South Platte River and adjacent to Interstate 25, the six-building campus is highly visible, making the overall design aesthetic and the project’s integration into the surrounding urban context a key consideration in addition to optimal operational functionality and sustainability.

© Ed LaCasse

  • Architect: RNL
  • Formal name of building: Denver Central Platte Campus
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Date completed: September 2010
  • Associate architects: NA
  • Interior designer: RNL
  • Landscape: RNL
  • Photographer(s) : © Ed LaCasse

© Ed LaCasse

Project Size:

  • Total Building Area: 105,000 sf
  • Office/Warehouse: 29,056 sf
  • Fleet Maintenance: 39,546 sf
  • Enclosed Heat Storage: 13,493 sf
  • Salt Storage: 15,676 sf
  • Covered Storage: 7,200 sf
  • Fuel/Wash: 6,640 sf
  • Mag Chloride Tank Farm: 12 tanks
  • Site Area: 18.2 Acres

© Ed LaCasse

The project utilized an integrated design approach involving the design consultants as well as the contractors to develop systems to aim for LEED-NC Gold, one step above the client’s requirement of LEED-NC Silver, without exceeding the fixed $29,000,000 budget. Sustainable features include an optimized roof design for photovoltaics, daylight/occupancy sensors, a radiant floor heating systems, evaporative cooling, reclamation and reuse of 80% of vehicle wash rinse cycle water, low flow/water efficient fixtures and native non-irrigated landscaping. All aspects of the mechanical and electrical systems are focused on reducing energy consumption resulting in overall reduction in operating cost for the owner. The use of durable, sustainable, and low VOC interior finishes in combination with daylight and views create an appealing work environment. Priority parking spaces for bicycles and fuel efficient vehicles encourage employees to use more efficient modes of transportation in their daily commute.

© Ed LaCasse


The primary goal of the design was to achieve optimal efficiency, from a functional as well as sustainable perspective, while supplying the City with a compelling design within the strict budget and fast track time line prescribed in the RFP. Given the site’s designation as a public works campus, and its highly visible location at a busy intersection, it was important that the design elevate the facility’s aesthetic and function to ensure that the 18-acre campus contributed to the urban design context.

© Ed LaCasse

The project’s design began with a site plan that combined circulation improvements with creative sustainability and design acumen. This was accomplished by creating equilibrium between sustainability and functionality. From this equilibrium, the architectural form is derived from the separation of public space, rendered in metal panel saw tooth forms and private utilitarian spaces, rendered in tilt-up concrete panels.

© Ed LaCasse


Another example of this marriage of function and sustainable design is found in the building’s orientation. The most desirable orientation for the main buildings was on an east-west axis to create a south-facing roof slope for photovoltaics, and to introduce diffused north-facing daylighting into the facility. Unfortunately, in doing so, many overhead doors for both the maintenance building and the shop/warehouse area would have been north-facing, causing significant snow and ice problems.

© Ed LaCasse

Our solution was to orient the buildings on a north-south axis, but to alter the roof’s design to create a saw-tooth roof line. This saw-tooth design was optimized to capture the suns rays via photovoltaics mounted on the southern slopes, and allow daylight to stream into the building via the northern slopes. This functional and recognizable design aesthetic has been praised by employees and passers-by, with many likening the peaks to those of the Rocky Mountains seen in the distance. It also highlights the use of solar panels and communicates the City’s dedication to sustainable public facilities.


© Ed LaCasse

© Ed LaCasse

Rendering 01

Rendering 02

Site Landscape

Contact RNL

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Category: Building Campus

One Response to “Denver Central Platte Campus in Denver, Colorado by RNL”

  1. Your website looks great. LOVE the fabric selection!!

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