Pikes Peak Summit Complex
The First "Full Certified Living Building" Challenge Project
to be Constructed in Colorado
Photo captured from GE Johnson webcam located on the summit.
By GE Johnson Construction Company
In addition to pursuing LEED Gold Certification, the Summit Complex will be built to meet The Living Building Challenge requirements - the world's most rigorous high-performance standard for buildings. To be considered a "living building" the Summit Complex must:
- Be a regenerative building that connects occupants to light, air, nature, community and food that more closely aligns with WELL building standard;
- Be self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of its site; and
- Create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with it.
Meeting this challenge requires a strong partnership among the City of Colorado Springs, the design team of RTA/GWWO Architects, GE Johnson, and all subcontractors. Though the Living Building Challenge compounds the already immense challenges inherent in this project and its location, it is a testimony to the commitment made to the responsible stewardship of natural resources.
Bioclimatic design for Net Zero Energy
- Thermal mass reduces mechanical heat rejection by 40 percent.
- Varied thermal setpoint strategy accommodates different space needs and maximizes heating/cooling efficiency.
- Circulating water throughout the building to level out cooling energy will save 10 percent cooling energy use, and circulating hot water throughout the building's radiant system will save 35 percent heating energy use.
- Heat recovery preheats incoming ventilation air saving 30 percent on heating energy usage.
- Overall energy reduction of 42 percent energy cost savings prior to renewable energy strategy.
Net Zero Waste
- The project's goal is to divert 90-99 percent of material waste from the landfill. Current infrastructure in Colorado makes this challenging. GE Johnson has partnered with Recycle Colorado to further the Colorado Contractors Challenge, which drives demand for increased infrastructure. They are also finding other ways to partner on the development of infrastructure that can support a broader range of material reuse.
Net Zero Water
- 90 percent of water load comes from toilets.
- Freshwater usage reduced by 66 percent (prior to graywater use).
- Water is hauled up and wastewater is hauled down the mountain. Reduced freshwater trips from 127 to 72, and wastewater trips from 174 to 69, which saves gas and transportation impacts on top of reduced water use.
- Vacuum toilets save 80 percent consumption.
- Faucets save 5 percent consumption.
- Waterless urinals and low-water-use kitchen equipment save an additional 5 percent consumption.
- The building is designed to be Net Zero water-ready including rainwater/snow harvest and reuse in the future.
Tava-KaavÌ - "Sun Mountain Sitting Big"
The name given centuries ago by the Ute people to a peak
first touched by dawn's light.
Information provided by History Colorado 2018
Photo by Clarence Coil of Colorado Springs. The original print hangs over the door in the office of Mr. Floyd Brunson, operator of Stewarts Commercial Photographers, Inc. When the picture was taken, circa 1913, most of the people in the lineup were well known to the citizens of the Pikes Peak region.
The Ute people are the longest tenured residents in Colorado and traditionally and culturally connected to vast landscapes in Utah, Wyoming, eastern Nevada, northern New Mexico and Arizona.
According to tribal history handed down from generation to generation, the Ute people have lived in the Pikes Peak region since the beginning of time.
Before and after acquiring the horse, the Utes lived off the land, establishing a unique and respectful relationship with the environment.
They would travel and camp in familiar sites and use well-established routes such as the Ute Trail. (Portions of this historic trail still exist on Pikes Peak.)
The Utes are one people, seven bands, and today, three tribes. Their relationship with the land
shapes their Ute language, dances, and ceremonies. The Ute people's place in their tribes, their bands, and their families form their identities as Ute. As Colorado's oldest continuous residents, today they live in communities located along the southern portion of Colorado. Their permanent lands were legally established by the Brunot Treaty. The Ute live in the modern world while also carrying on their traditions.
As original inhabitants of the Pikes Peak region, the Colorado Mountain Ute people, saw that due to its height, this prominent peak was the first to be illuminated by the dawn. For that reason, they named it " Tava-KaavÌ - "Sun Mountain Sitting Big" -the name given centuries ago by the Ute people to a peak first touched by dawn's light.
The Ute name for the mountain peak is associated to local band identified as the Tabeguache, meaning the "People of Sun Mountain."
Zebulon Pike and Pikes Peak
An excerpt from the 2006 publication
Pike's World: Exploration and Empire in the Greater Southwest
by the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
|Artist's rendering of Pike's attempt to climb Pikes Peak.1902 illustration, E. Cameron, artist.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
On November 15, 1806, Zebulon Pike first spotted the blue hulk of the Rocky Mountains or "Mountains of Mexico" as he called them, lying low on the western horizon. The highest visible peak was given the simple name of "Grand Peak" or "Highest Peak" (as it appeared on later maps) and Pike's men gave three cheers to what would later bear the name of the commander of the first American expedition to view it: Pikes Peak. Nine days after their first sighting of the Rockies, Pike's command reached the present site of Pueblo, Colorado. In keeping with his instructions to locate the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers, Pike determined to climb the "Highest Peak" in order to gain a better perspective of the terrain and water courses that would be spread out below him. This approach demonstrated Pike's lack of experience with mountain geography. While such a view, if it were available, would certainly aid in his assigned task of making a map of the source regions of Louisiana Territory's southwestern rivers, experienced mountaineers would not have assumed that simply by climbing higher, they could see more. After constructing a crude breastwork to give his men at least some protection from the ensuing winter cold and snow, Pike, Dr. John Robinson, and two other volunteers set out for what they believed would be a one-day hike. They were neither the first nor the last travelers in the Rockies to be confused by the visibility provided by the thin, clear air of high altitudes. Three days later, they had only reached the foothills of the major mountain range after struggling through deep snow, clad only in lightweight summer uniforms, and without food or even signs of game to hunt. Believing that it would prove impossible to reach the peak and survive under such conditions, Pike decided to turn back.
Pike gave few details about this side trip, and he made no effort to name the mountain for himself. In his time it was known by many names: the Spanish called it Almagre and the Ute knew it as Tava-KaavÌ (Sun Mountain). Perhaps the first to name it for Pike was his traveling companion, Dr. John Robinson. His map of the West, published in 1819, six years after Pike's death, was the first to refer to the peak as "Pikes Mountain."
In 1820 a party led by Dr. Edwin James and attached to another government expedition under the command of Stephen Long, successfully attained the summit of the peak that Long judged to be the highest in the Rocky Mountains. Believing, perhaps, that ascending the peak was more important than first sighting it, Long named the mountain "James Peak." That name never took hold and, from the time of Dr. Robinson's otherwise undistinguished map, one of the Rockies' most fabled mountains has borne the name of the commander of the first American party to see it.
Pikes Peak Is My Mountain: "It Symbolizes The Mountains,
Challenges I've Had To Overcome"
The city of Colorado Springs is gathering reflections from community members on their personal connection to Pikes Peak. It's part of a campaign called "My Mountain," leading up to completion of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex next year. The city has shared audio versions of several stories with 91.5 KRCC radio. In this audio postcard, we hear from Brandon Lyons, a Paralympian who lives and trains in Colorado Springs.
"I dove into shallow water, broke my back at the T5 and T6 vertebrae. That left me with a spinal-cord injury. A few years after that, I got introduced to hand cycling, which is a bike that you lay down recumbent style and you pedal with your arms, instead of your legs.
I was introduced to the team here in Colorado Springs, and had an opportunity to relocate out to the Olympic Training Center to become a resident athlete just three years to the day of my injury - May 24th, 2017 - and I've been a resident athlete here ever since." Brandon Lyons, Paralympic Hopeful
2020 Race Day Postponed to August 30, 2020
The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), brought to you by Gran Turismo, also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an annual invitational automobile hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak - America's Mountain in Colorado, USA. The 2020 race will take place Sunday, August 30, with the green flag dropping at 7:30 a.m. Gates open at 2:30 a.m. on Race Day. For more information, visit PPIHC.org
Pikes Peak - America's Mountain is now accepting cash and credit cards.
To minimize interaction between visitors and staff, a 20 percent discount will be available to guests who purchase tickets online in May. Visit
and use the code "May20" to receive the discount on
one-day admission before tickets
. We ask for your patience as these new procedures may slow interactions. Gateway hours are 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
The Summit House, Glen Cove and all picnic areas are closed through June 1. Restrooms are available at the Gateway, Crystal Reservoir and Glen Cove. No services, including restrooms, will be available on the summit. Guests are asked to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks in populated areas such as parking lots and restrooms. If guests do not feel well, they're asked to visit another time.
Guests should call 719-385-7325 for the latest road conditions and as always, access is weather permitting and no refunds are available.
IKES PEAK PROJECT TEAM SAFETY
While construction is deemed a critical activity by the state, we are taking extra precautions to keep our Pikes Peak project team safe. Posters from the CDC hang onsite to remind workers to stay home if they are sick, be diligent regarding handwashing, and practice social distancing. Practices for this site includes increased cleaning of site common areas and PPE; staggered start times and mealtimes; and dispersed work groups of 10 people or less. Project leadership continues to track and follow federal, state, and local healthcare guidance to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
SUPPORT THE PIKES PEAK SUMMIT COMPLEX
JUST BY SHOPPING AT KING SOOPERS
King Soopers is committed to helping communities grow and prosper. Year after year, local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations earn thousands of dollars through King Soopers Community Rewards. This year, King Soopers has selected the Pikes Peak Summit Complex to participate in this program.
Sign up here
to link your King Soopers loyalty card to the Pikes Peak ID
Every time you shop, King Soopers donates to the project at no cost to you.
Once logged into your King Soopers or City Market account you can search for Pikes Peak Summit Complex Fund either by name or
and then click Enroll. New users will need to create an account which requires some basic information, a valid email address and a
card. Your King Soopers card can be used at any Kroger Store nationwide.
For step-by step directions, see these
2020 LOOK AHEAD
Fundraising campaign completion: late summer
Interior work began late 2019
2020 construction schedule:
- Early to mid-summer: finish structural backfill, concrete slab sequence and dining terrace
- Mid- to late-summer: west parking lot, roof system, finish boardwalk system, window system
- Early Fall: start interpretive installation
Follow the Project: sign-up for
New Heights eNewsletter
Email us requesting to be added to the e-newsletter distribution list.
LIVE CAMERA FEED
what's going on a top America's Mountain right this minute. V
iew a LIVE camera feed from contractor GE Johnson and keep up with the amazing construction progress of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex!
When was the last time you visited the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs? Soon, we'll be able to get out and about more freely. When we can, put the Pioneers Museum on the top of your list of places to visit. You'll find multiple interesting exhibits that preserve and share our cultural history. Visit
for more information.
Cultural Crossroads Exhibit
For millennia, the vast stretch of land between the Platte and Arkansas Rivers and east of the Rocky Mountains has been a Cultural Crossroads. This exhibit features striking examples of American Indian beadwork, clothing, baskets, and other materials representing more than 30 nations. This exhibit illustrates the ongoing creativity, innovation and adaptation of native peoples in a region noted for being a Cultural Crossroads.
Beads, Blankets and Buffalo: Trade at Bent's Fort
This Children's Gallery exhibit gives young visitors a hands-on experience of a "day in the life" at Bent's Fort, a multicultural place of trade and exchange along the Santa Fe Trail in the 1830s and 1840s. Children can explore a carpenter's shop, trade counter, kitchen, tepee and Santa Fe Trail wagon!
American Indians through the Lens of Roland Reed
This exhibit features dozens of pictorialist photographs of American Indians taken by Roland Reed in the early twentieth century. Reed saw himself as both an artist and an ethnographer; his images are strikingly beautiful but deeply problematic. Reed constructed romantic scenes that situated American Indians in an imagined past versus contemporary reality. [Dis]Information includes original artwork and commentary by Gregg Deal, a Pyramid Lake Paiute, in addition to contemporary American Indian photographs alongside historic images that celebrate the power and beauty of photography while challenging the assumptions of viewers.
Pikes Peak Summit Complex construction continues on the exterior and the surroundings despite the weather.
Interior work on the Pikes Peak Summit continues at 14,115 feet.
South elevation excavation nearly to grade at the Pikes Peak Summit Complex.
Current status of the upper terrace of the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex.