U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 Headquarters
Denver, CO

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) mission is to protect human health and the environment and it works to develop and enforce environmental laws enacted by Congress. As part of the Opus/ZGF design/build team, Syska Hennessy Group was selected to provide sustainable design consulting and MEP engineering design services for EPA's new 280,000 sf Region 8 headquarters building located in Denver, CO.

At project inception, iterative energy and daylight simulation studies using eQUEST and Radiance were carried out to explore alternative integrated design strategies that might be implemented to optimize the building’s energy performance and daylighting. Using these simulation tools, Syska helped the architectural team evaluate building envelope performance criteria and design as well as understand the energy impacts of various mechanical air distribution strategies (conventional overhead versus under floor).

Throughout the design process Syska engineers worked closely with the architect, developer/builder and the EPA to achieve building and systems design that was high performance and sustainable. Some of the features included:

Air side economizers for free cooling; Air-side energy recovery wheel system; District steam to hot water converters for heating; Energy recovered from steam condensate for domestic hot water; Low flow plumbing fixtures and water free urinals; Storm water collection and reuse system; Lighting efficiency improvements through more efficient fixtures, occupancy sensors, daylighting controls; Under floor air distribution. In January 2007, the EPA, through the General Services Administration, signed a 10 year lease and moved into the facility. The agency required that the new building meet all Energy Star® requirements and achieve a minimum LEED®-NC Silver Certification. However, due to successful high performance design integration, the facility has received a LEED®-NC Gold Certification.
  • Horizontal sunshades


280,000 sf


2007 Mincher's People's Choice Award - Associated General Contractors of Colorado
2007 R&D Award for Atrium Daylighting Control System - Architect Magazine
2006 Downtown Denver Partnership Annual Award -
2008 Sustainable Design Award - LoDoD District
2009 Evergreen Award, Ecommercial Category - Eco-Structure Magazine
2009 Green Good Desing Award - European Centre for Architecture and Art Design and Urband Studies
2009 Top 10 Green Projects, What Makes it Green - AIA Seattle COTE
2008 National Merit Award - Design Build Institute of America
2008 American Architecture Award - Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design
2007 Federal Energy Saver Showcase - Department of Energy