Self Guided Tour

Welcome to the U.S. EPA Region 8 Green Building Self-Guided Tour

Please only five or less people per self-guided tour.

The self-guided tour should take around 1/2 hour. Please feel free to stay longer and enjoy our Library and Information Center.

Begin your tour by entering the building through the revolving doors. You will be greeted by our security team. They will guide you through our simple security process:

  • Our security screening process is similar to screening at the airport: you will be asked to walk through a magnetometer (removing metal objects from your pockets) and your coats, bags etc. will be x-rayed. We regret that we do not have facilities to check coats or bags.
  • All visitors need to bring a government-issued picture ID (i.e., a driver’s license). You will be asked to show this ID as you enter the lobby.
  • You will be provided with a visitor badge after you pass through security. Please wear this at all times while you are in the building.
  • Video, as well as photos taken with a cell phone, are not allowed.
  • NO weapons of any kind are allowed in the building. This includes; mace, knives, guns, etc. You will not be permitted in the building if you have any of these items.

Once through security, please proceed to front desk to receive your visitor badge, be sure to wear your badge at all times.

Once you have your badge, please proceed to stand in our atrium to begin your self guided tour.

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General Information

The building you're standing in serves as a hallmark of environmental sustainability in a prominent Lower Downtown Historic District location.

EPA's Mission:
The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. This building was designed to reduce our consumption of natural resources and create a healthy working environment for our employees.

Basic Building Facts:

  • Region 8:Mountain and Plains Region (MT, CO, UT, SD, WY, NM and 27 Tribal Nations – see flags in library window above you)
  • Building privately owned, EPA is a tenant with a 10 yr lease/option
  • Construction began in Spring 2005, fully occupied in February 1, 2007
    • Former US Postal Service site
    • Cleaned up contaminants from the brownfields
    • Time capsule from the post office found underneath our site!
  • More than 80% of all wastes generated during construction of the Wynkoop building were recycled.
  • 9 Floors
  • Approx. 420,000 sq. ft.
  • Construction costs were $167/ft2
  • Level 4 Security (e.g. Pentagon is Level 5)
  • LEED Gold (40 points)
  • Designed for Energy Star Rating (energy usage)
  • More than 2/3 of employees use public transportation regularly
  • Use hybrid & alternative fuel vehicles in govt. fleet
  • EPA's building contains about 5,000 square feet of bamboo flooring and 13,500 square feet of bamboo paneling. Bamboo is also one of the strongest, most flexible, rapidly renewable and lightweight building materials available.
  • The building contains 18,000 cubic yards of concrete! Four purposes:
    • Blend in with the character of historic LoDo
    • Aid in heating and cooling
    • 1-in cladding on columns contain 20-25% fly ash
    • Security
  • 51% of all materials used in the building were manufactured within 500 miles of Denver. 29% of all materials used were harvested or extracted within 500 miles. Concrete and wood are examples of local products used.


  • Daylight harvesting (see skylights/preview of sails)
  • Over 85% of working space receives some natural daylight
  • Atrium contributes to bringing light into the building
  • Water feature creates natural humidity and ambient noise

Look up at the sails:

  • Sails were made by North Winds Canvas in Portland.
  • The sails have the ability to reflect light downward regardless of the angle of the sun.
  • They are made of Teflon-coated canvas.

Towards the right you will see our Information Center (glass enclosed office area)..please proceed there.

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Environmental Information Service Center (EISC):

Region 8 headquarters environemental information center interior.
  • Open M-F 9am to 4pm to the public
  • Holds hundreds of EPA publications
  • Answers questions from the public about environmental issues
  • Green design features include beetle kill ceiling trellis

To the right once you enter you can see our Green Building Information Center, here you will find information about various aspects of green building and features of our building you cannot see on the self guided tour. Feel free to ask for more information from the folks behind the desk or ask to browse our many environmental publications which are free to the public.

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Green Roof Information

The green roof was installed as a learning lab to prove the viability of a green roof in an arid climate like Denver and to comply with Denver’s strict storm water runoff guidelines and restrictions.

The living roof covers 20,000 total square feet on three terrace levels consisting of 40,000 total plants.

Environmental Benefits:

  • Improves water quality runoff by retaining and filtering pollutants held in rainwater
  • Reduces “heat island” effect
  • Filters air pollutants deposited from the atmosphere and stores CO2
  • Provides habitat for birds and insects
  • Insulates the building, reducing heating and cooling needs
  • Offers an attractive alternative to traditional roofs

Economic Benefits:

  • Offers more protection than conventional roofs (from UV rays, hail, etc)
  • Decreases storm water utility fees
  • Enhances resale value of the property
  • Saves in energy costs
  • Contributes to LEED points

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Other Exterior Features

Region 8 headquarters exterior horizontal light shelves.
  • Horizontal sun shelves on south-facing sides reflect daylight through windows
  • Vertical fins on NE and NW exterior of building block high-season sun rays
  • High-performance glass insulates and filters sunlight to reduce heat gain (these are mid grade windows, they are designed to let in as much sunlight as possible)

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Underfloor Air Distribution System

  • 16 inch “plenum” (open air) used on floors 4-9 for cooling
  • Advantages:
    • Saves energy by using less equipment
    • Air is cooled to 68 degrees instead of 55
    • Air filtration high efficiency filters used in ventilation
    • Improved indoor air quality by air coming from floor and naturally removing contaminants as air rises
    • Personal control
  • Improved indoor environmental quality. The air-supply economizer provides outside air to spaces when the outside temperature between 63 and 77

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Break Rooms

  • Floors are post-consumer recycled tire & post-industrial recycled cork
  • Cabinets are agriboard (wheat straw board w/ water-based adhesive)
  • Doors frames contain recycled aluminum
  • 89% of wood (including the maple veneer on the doors) are FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council) and create little waste and environmental impact
  • Recycling bins:
    • Region 8 has an active recycling program including paper, cardboard, glass, metal, electronic equipment, and “Techno-Trash”
  • Composting program in 2010 which has increased the building’s waste diversion by 25% so our total waste diversion is 80%

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Region 8 headquarters work station.
  • Green Guard Certified (no VOCs)
  • Wheat Board, minimal amount of PVC at edging
  • Panel fabrics are corn cloth (beige) and recycled polyester (green)


  • User adjustable work surfaces
  • Adjustable flat panel monitor arms
  • Selection of fully adjustable chairs for maximum comfort and health


  • Contains 40% recycled content (some recycled pop bottles)
  • Carpet squares (worn out portions can be easily replaced)

Pink Noise:

  • Dampens sound from surrounding workstations
  • Digitally generated & adjustable

Energy Savings:

  • Lighting controls, day lighting sensors, occupancy sensors, and the computerized Building Management System save energy
  • 4 ft corridor near windows allow maximum daylight; not cutoff by workstations
  • Low energy use fixtures
  • T5 fluorescents bounce off “clouds” in work areas (goal = 50 ft candles on work surface)
  • Daytime janitorial service (no lights left on at night and lower rates for cleaning)

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Natural Lighting (different in 2 "Ls"):

  • NW "L" (facing mtns) has vertical fins that reduce low angle morning/afternoon sun
  • SW "L" (looking down Wynkoop) has horizontal sun shelves, reduce direct light & solar radiation during summer
  • Most day lighting from clerestory windows above light shelves
  • Reflective light shelves that bounce light in about 15 ft.
  • Interior offices also have clerestory window to admit some natural light

Please exit EISC, proceed towards stairs in atrium. At the top of the stairs move to front of conference center front desk.

  • Reception and lobby desk counters made from recycled aluminum matrix.

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Please enter one of our bathrooms to the left of the reception desk.


Region 8 headquarters bathroom
  • Dual flush toilets are designed to save water (heavy flush = 1.1 gallons, light flush = .7 gallon)
  • Waterless urinals (each saves 40,000 gallons of fresh water per year) according to the manufacturer
  • Counter tops made from recycled glass (called Ice Stone) are cradle to cradle cement and glass
  • Jet dryers (eliminate paper towel waste & should reduce energy use)

Please exit the restroom and go to the right, past the stairs, past the elevators and towards our library (large glass enclosed area with flags).

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Please ask to see a librarian if you like!

  • Open M-F 8am to 4pm to the public
  • Holds hundreds of EPA technical reports
  • Books/reports from other federal agencies & environmental topics
  • Collects documents that pertain to environmental issues facing the Western US

Please exit the library and proceed back down to the atrium. Please have a seat on our bamboo bleachers and enjoy a few last words about our building.

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Current Building Performance:

  • The building was designed to minimize water usage.  Each year we have been here we have managed to use less and less water.
  • The building is in the 97th percentile for Energy Star Buildings.
  • Largely as a result of data collected at 1595 Wynkoop, green roofs have been accepted as standard Best Management Practice by the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District for storm-water treatment.
  • In FY10 we donated 3,540 lbs of electronic equipment for reuse and recycled 6,818 lbs of office electronics, 100% of the eligible electronic equipment we purchased was EPEAT registered, meaning they meet the highest environmental standards for equipment on the market.
  • By the end of 2010, our landfill diversion rate was 80%.
  • The cost of building a green building has gone down since we built our building.
  • We have an Environmental Management Systems Team that ensures our building continues to perform as it was designed to.

We are very proud of our building. It provides a secure, comfortable workplace, helps us reduce our impacts on the environment and demonstrates environmental leadership in areas such as energy conservation, water conservation, and material stewardship. Thank you for coming to visit!

Please remember to turn in your badge and grab a Take Home Building Fact sheet from the folks at the front desk.

You must exit to the left of the front desk.

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