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The modernization of the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building

How Metal Composite Materials Brought New Life to the Denver Skyline.

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January 10, 2019 |

Home to seven federal agencies, the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building, situated in the Golden Triangle neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, provides important services to the area and acts as a landmark to the region. Originally built in 1984, the decades of use began to show on the building’s exterior and the interior demanded technological upgrades as well. The US General Services Administration (GSA), owners of the building, were faced with the challenge of modernization and creating innovative opportunities to advance the sustainability of the building while also limiting the disruption to business operations. The contract was awarded to GE Johnson Construction and Tryba Architects to bring the 180,000 square feet, 10-story building into the modern age, with a goal of LEED Silver Certification.

The original cladding was deteriorating and showing clear signs of delamination. In order to upgrade the building’s exterior, the team built a temporary mobile, reusable and recyclable panel structure to protect workers from the elements. From there, they set on the task of creating a state-of-the-art aluminum and glass curtain wall system, featuring over 85,000 square feet of 4 mm fire retardant ALPOLIC aluminum composite materials in CMX Champagne Metallic and MNC Mica Anodic Clear finishes.


Before image of the Cesar Chavez Memorial Building.


Completed in three years, the renovations boasted a building envelope designed for a 75-year lifespan that increases the amount of natural light and helps to reduce the energy consumption of the building by 30%. Paired with an assortment of green upgrades that included a photovoltaic system installed over the parking garage and a process that diverted 83% of construction waste from landfills, the federal building qualified for LEED Gold certification. Read more about the green building innovations used in this project in the GSA’s digital brochure.

In a press release, GSA Regional Administrator Susan Damour extolled the success of the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building renovation project. “Sustainable design is vital to GSA’s mission of providing the best value in real estate and delivering a superior workplace for the federal employees. High performing sustainable buildings not only reduce the government’s environmental footprint, but also make good business sense. This is a win-win as this modernization has also turned a previously overlooked building into a beautiful structure that complements Denver's architecture.”

The $36 million-dollar project revitalized the Golden Triangle area and maintained critical operations throughout the renovation.  ALPOLIC Materials is proud to be a featured element in such an innovative retrofit. To explore the possibilities in your next project, visit

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