The Science and Engineering Building at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has received LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The $56.1 million, 159,000-square-foot building, which opened last month for classes, is the largest facility on the campus. Its environmentally friendly features include thin-film solar panels, a heating system that recovers exhaust from laboratories, an ice-storage system that saves air-conditioning costs, high-efficiency windows, energy-efficient lighting with occupancy sensors, water-saving fixtures, and extensive use of low-chemical paints, adhesives, sealant, carpet and wood products.

University officials say the building is designed to be one-third more energy efficient than a comparable facility.

The building also includes a K-12 center with imagination stations and computer kiosks to assist teachers and to encourage elementary, middle and high school students to consider science and technical study.