TruStile Doors Headquarters and Denver Manufacturing Plant (Owner’s Rep)
A model of sustainability within Denver’s industrial manufacturing sector, this project co-locates a 65,000-sf high-end, residentially designed corporate headquarters with a 220,000-sf state of the art production plant, incorporating a 1.5-megawatt roof-mounted solar array and a custom biomass boiler system that turns excess wood waste from manufacturing into heating and cooling for the building. These investments in sustainable manufacturing are projected to eventually reduce carbon emissions by 25,000 tons annually – the equivalent of taking 4,900 cars off the road each year.
TruStile Doors Headquarters and Denver Manufacturing Plant
A subsidiary of Marvin Windows and Doors, TruStile has been designing and manufacturing high-end custom doors in Adams County Colorado since 1995. Their success expanded operations into four separate buildings over time, creating the need to expand and consolidate into one facility. This new facility, located in a low-income neighborhood in close proximity to historic operations, is projected to retain 300 existing jobs, create 200 new, mostly Low-Income Accessible jobs over the next 5 years, increase local business activity by $22 million, and generate over $19 million of additional wages for area households annually.
Constructed on a brownfield site located within the 100-year floodplain, with tight site constraints exacerbated by overhead transmission lines, the project required a floodplain development permit (LOMR-F) and underground detention to fit the entire facility on a 14-acre site. Combined with the need to limit export from a brownfield site, the development team worked with county officials to allow for a first of its kind in Colorado ACO-StormBrixx detention solution beneath onsite parking. The resulting sitewide FAR of 0.51 is forty percent more efficient than Denver’s 0.33 industrial average.
TruStile’s new 65,000 SF headquarters blends modern technology with old world craftmanship, just as their products do. The new facility is a showpiece that includes a variety of styles, finishes and materials to highlight the quality and level of design the TruStile and Marvin brands have created. Utilizing a modern mountain aesthetic, the office space includes an expansive reception and lounge area with a steam fireplace, client-facing conference and training rooms, open office areas, private offices, collaborative areas and huddle rooms, a fitness center, and a large café with an exterior patio. To reflect the company’s target residential market, the space incorporates furniture, lamps, and accessories such as books and houseplants to give it a more residential feel.
Access to natural light was also a top priority for TruStile. The development team ensured the layout of the open office areas and primary amenity areas were located near windows as much as possible. By incorporating windows in the training room and at various points in the office, clients touring the space can also get an inside look at the 220,000 square foot production area. Oversized clearstory windows throughout the manufacturing floor and breakroom ensures natural light for production workers and reduces energy demand. All glazing, both interior and exterior, was designed and manufactured by TruStile’s parent company, Marvin Windows & Doors.
Environmental remediation successfully removed asbestos in buildings and soil, as well as fuel-impacted soil.
The infill site was home to a former trucking operation and saddled with several environmental constraints including leaking underground storage tanks and asbestos in soil. TruStile entered the property into Colorado’s brownfield voluntary cleanup program (“VCUP”) in 2019 and set about the cleanup, receiving a No Further Action Determination closing out the VCUP in August 2020.
Jobs – The project retained over 300 jobs and added 200+ more
TruStile has been operating in the same north Denver low-income neighborhood (15.7% unemployment rate and 18.5% poverty rate) since opening in 1995. Consciously electing to relocate less than a mile away in the same community, TruStile ensured that more than 300 existing jobs were retained in the community and that the 200+ new jobs projected to be created over the next 5 years of expansion made possible by the new facility would be created in the same community. TruStile actively recruits low-income Denver residents through partnerships with Lutheran Family Services, CareerWise Colorado, Skillfull, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services.
The building design is part of TruStile’s overall strategy for attracting, retaining, and training a quality workforce; including an air-conditioned production plant, natural lighting on the plant floor, 7,400 square foot breakroom, and on-site training rooms large enough to bring the entire company together at once.
Environmental Justice and Economic Revitalization
The largely industrial communities of north Denver in Adams County are home to refineries and powerplants as well as the working-class families that work there. TruStile’s decision to redevelop here positively impacts the surrounding community in two primary ways: environmental justice and economic revitalization.
A federally mandated non-attainment zone, the air quality in north Denver is heavily regulated. Rather than relocate to new area with lower standards, TruStile tackled the issue head on, systemically reviewing all aspects of its manufacturing operations and the planned new development. The resulting project not only gets more than 50% of its energy from onsite renewable sources (solar and biomass), it cleaned up a potential source of groundwater contamination, reduces local emissions by more than 25,000 tons annually, takes trucks off the local highways, and makes good economic sense.
A recently completed economic and fiscal impact analysis of the $79 million investment estimated that the direct, indirect, and induced demand from the fully operational facility will result in a $22 million increase in local business activity and more than $19 million of additional wages for area households. In addition to an estimated 825 predevelopment and constructions FTEs to date, it is anticipated that at least 165+ FTE permanent jobs will be created in the next seven years alone and be accessible area low-income residents and average 18% to 95% percent higher than Denver’s current living wage determination of $13.87 per hour.
Onsite renewable power generation
TruStile Doors’ headquarters and Denver manufacturing plant is arguably the most environmentally sustainable industrial facility in Colorado. In addition to remediating a brownfield site and incorporating traditional green building enhancements, such as lighting power density reduction (of 0.472 w/sf saving 1,250,000 kWh annually), sustainability efforts are integrated with the manufacturing process itself:
- High efficiency absorption chillers that mitigate the cooling load for the building during peak demand times saving 203,625 kWh annually,
- Variable speed VFD motors in the compressed air system saving 69,699 kWh annually,
- Efficient air cycling dryers, no loss air drains, and equipment motors saving 100,000+ kWh annually, and
- A Public Service Company of Colorado Energy Efficient Building rating, resulting in more than $350,000 in rebates.
Beyond lowering energy consumption, TruStile entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with REC Solar for a 1.5-Megawatt Photovoltaic roof-mounted solar array. The array provides 2.35 million kW of renewable electricity annually for operations and reduces the urban heat island effect.
Most ambitious of all, a state-of-the-art sawdust collection system and biomass boiler utilizes wood waste from the facility to generate hot water that heats and cool the entire facility. Utilizing the by-product from its manufacturing operations for energy onsite, TruStile reduces carbon emissions by an estimated 25,000 tons annually (the equivalent of taking 4,900 cars off the road each year) and eliminating the need to transport and landfill 650+ tons of wood waste monthly. Combined, efforts will save an estimated $400,000 in waste costs and $335,000 in energy costs annually.
Recipient of Xcel’s largest gas-saving customer of 2022, saving 535,654 therms, which is equivalent to the electric use of 551 homes for a year.