Institute for the Built Environment

Research to Practice Blog

The Integrative Design Process (IDP) has the potential to radically change the way that we make decisions in building design and construction, and to improve project success and efficacy. However, integrative design projects often fail to realize success because optimal …

Lifelong Home Certification Program: Moving Forward through Partnerships

The ability to remain within our homes and communities as we navigate life changes is important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of Americans would prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible if …

The Urban Lab | Catalyzing collaborative community initiatives in Fort Collins

The Urban Lab is a working collective of dedicated citizens, professionals, students, and academics who are committed to fostering a healthy and vibrant Fort Collins community through innovative design and creative solutions. Fort Collins continues to experience a rapid rate …

Regenerative Development: The journey begins within

Our communities and natural systems have the need, now more than ever, to be able to adapt, evolve, and thrive. That is what regenerative development is all about – developing the potential for people to play contributive, beneficial roles as …

Leading the Way to Zero

I was fortunate to receive a George Malek student scholarship through my fellowship with IBE to attend the New Building Institute’s and Rocky Mountain Institute’s Getting to Zero Forum last month in Pittsburgh. Having moved here from New Zealand less …

The Power of the Pop-Up: How Citizens Are Transforming Public Places through Tactical Urbanism

Have you ever been walking down a street and thought, “Wow, this place is incredible?” Now, what was it about that place that was so incredible? Was it the unfinished sidewalks and cacophony of cars and trucks speeding down the …

Urban rivers should be an asset, not a liability

Many people consider rivers in urban areas to be dirty, dangerous, and polluted. Unfortunately, they aren’t always wrong. Urban rivers are convenient dumping grounds for waste, and can flood, threatening homes and businesses. However, it doesn’t have to be this …

IBE Seeks Organizational Sustainability Manager

IBE is hiring! The Organizational Sustainability Manager will join IBE’s interdisciplinary team to work with corporations, municipalities, and other organizations to develop programs that enhance sustainability performance. IBE’s organizational sustainability work spans program design and management, sustainability reporting, behavior engagement, …

Placemaking, Tactical Urbanism, & the Struggle for Community Identity

Population growth in Colorado is difficult to ignore, and isn’t expected to slow any time soon. According to the Colorado State Demographers, the population on Colorado’s Front Range could double by the year 2050. How can communities retain their character …

Regenerative Development and Denver’s Sun Valley EcoDisctrict: An Interview with Callahan Seltzer

IBE’s Brigid McCreery, Sustainability Associate, interviewed Callahan Seltzer about regenerative development and the SunValley EcoDistrict. Callahan leads CityCraft’s Integrated Research Center (CIRC) for the Rocky Mountain Front Range Bio-Region, and is an urban planner whose work focuses on regenerative planning …

Developing Carbon Metrics For Sun Valley EcoDistrict

Sun Valley: Denver’s Future EcoDistrict With a population of over 5 million in Denver’s wider metropolitan area, Sun Valley is set to become the city’s first EcoDistrict. Sun Valley is a small, low density, low income, central Denver district of …

8 Key Design Features of Lifelong Homes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 90% of Americans would like to stay in their homes as long as possible, especially as they age. Although this is the preference for most, many homes in our community …

9 Tips for Making Your Brainstorming Meetings More Effective

  1. Start with group-defined ground rules. People often hate group brainstorms because they’ve probably had bad experiences in which a few people have dominated the conversation. Or, some people don’t feel “important” enough to speak up, so they sit …

Discovering the Essence of Fort Collins Through Story of Place

By Josie Plaut Fort Collins anticipates 100,000 new community members in the next 15 years. Who will we become? There are growing concerns about losing what makes this place special.  For better or worse, people have discovered that living in …

Northwest Fort Collins’ Vision For A Community Health Hub

About a year ago, a group of Fort Collins health and social service providers came together to discuss the potential of a large 20+ acre piece of land in northwest Fort Collins, purchased by Salud Family Health Centers. After much …

Urban Lab Hosts First Friday Event

The Urban Lab has been hosting annual First Friday events since 2014. Our first and most well-attended event was held at the old Goodwill on Walnut St. in Old Town (now Illegal Pete’s). This event was a real production, complete …

Incentivizing the Development of Lifelong Housing

Our population of older adults in Colorado is estimated to double by 2030. We need to talk about housing. The United States is aging and in our home state of Colorado, from 2010 to 2040, the population of people over …

Graduate Fellowship Program Launches

IBE is excited to announce the launch of its new graduate fellowship program. This program is possible thanks to a seed grant from CSU’s Office of the Vice President for Research, which named IBE a Program of Research and Scholarly …

City of Fort Collins Utility Administration Building | Fort Collins, CO

The City of Fort Collins Utility Administration Building completed construction in early Fall 2016 on their new 37,000 square-foot facility. The new building helps facilitate a collaborative environment by bringing together a variety of departments that had been previously housed …

Thompson School District’s High Plains School | Loveland, CO

Photo courtesy of RB+B Architects Thompson School District’s High Plains School has received its LEED Gold certification. This is the first LEED Certified building in Thompson School District. This new 63,000-square-foot Pre-K – 8 complex recently opened in eastern Loveland …

Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center South Revitalization | Fort Collins, CO

  Photo courtesy of Lory Student Center Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center South Revitalization has received its LEED Silver certification. The Lory Student Center is the heart of the campus and the center of student life at Colorado State …

City of Fort Collins Utilities Administration Building LEED v4 Celebration

Thursday, June 8, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Utilities Administration Building in Fort Collins Cost: FREE Join IBE, USGBC Colorado’s Northern Branch, and the City of Fort Collins as we celebrate the completion of Fort Collin’s Utilities Administration Building, …

Reaching for Regeneration: Discovering the Power of Place

Colin Day Projects Manager Amid increasing homogenization of American communities, there is a growing interest in identifying and cultivating the unique traits inherent to individual places. Imagine for a moment three different towns that you are familiar with and that …

Meet the Intern: Amelia Howe, Sustainability Associate

Amelia Howe Sustainability Associate I recently graduated from CSU with my BS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. With programs like mine that focus on natural resources and natural resource management, the connection …

Creating a Community Health Hub at Salud Family Health Centers

Katie Vega Sustainability Associate, Public Health The Colorado Health Foundation has awarded a one-year, $192,495 planning grant to design a proposed model for a community health hub in northwest Fort Collins, located at Salud Family Health Center’s newest clinic. IBE …

A New Neighborhood Approach: Meeting Fort Collins’ Affordable Housing Gap

Bruce Hendee, RLA IBE Advisory Board Member Affordable housing became an issue in Fort Collins shortly after the end of the Great Recession. At that time, a perfect storm of conditions led to a dramatic decrease in the availability of …

Go “Off the Rails” with the Urban Lab

Andy Madrick Sustainability Associate, Landscape Architecture On Friday, October 7, the Urban Lab will select the winner of its “Off the Rails” competition. This juried competition challenges innovators to envision the revitalization of a busy, neglected strip in downtown Fort …

Laying the Foundation for Sustainable, Regenerative, Just Cities: EcoDistricts Summit 2016

Katie Vega Sustainability Associate, Public Health Sustainable. Regenerative. Equitable. Multi-generational. Community-driven. Collaborative. These six concepts stayed with me after my experience at the EcoDistricts Summit held at Denver University from September 13-15, 2016. The Summit is an annual conference hosted …