The Department of Human Services has a new, innovative, LEED Gold-designed building in the city of Denver. RNL Architects designed this 51,000 square-foot building in the community of Clayton, Colorado just outside of downtown Denver. The Eastside Human Services Building is a part of the "Building a Better Denver" Bond Program, which was initiated by voters in November of 2007. It provides clients with a place to service food stamp applications, low-income programs, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families eligibility, and case management for programs like Child Welfare.
The building’s design includes program components such as conference rooms, service counters, offices, and file storage. The organization of the building was tightly monitored by RNL and helps to provide better efficiency and organization for the programs that the building provides. This two-story building is thought to become a source of pride for the community of Clayton, and will help to create a new language of design for the blighted community.
Sustainable features of this project included such necessities as daylighting and lighting control to help curb the amount of energy consumed by the thousands of square-feet of office space. An underfloor air distribution system helps to also reduce energy consumptions on summer days where temperatures get out of hand in Denver. This also helps to provide individual temperature control for employees. Native landscaping surrounds the building as the two-story volume eases its way into the natural slope of the site. Drip irrigation helps to keep water consumption to a minimum for this native vegetation. This building will end up being around 40% more efficient in consumption of energy and water than other building in the area. The facility is also designed to be photovoltaic ready for future installation.