Beck Named General Contractor On Populus

  • Apr 27, 2022

Populus, The United States First Carbon Positive Hotel, Breaks Ground in Downtown Denver

The Beck Group was named the general contractor for Populus, the first carbon positive hotel in the United States. Denver-based Urban Villages, a leading real estate developer and environmental steward, is the project’s developer.

Urban Villages partnered with world-class architecture firm Studio Gang to design Populus. Construction of the triangular-shaped 130,000 SF hotel began in April 2022 and will end in late 2023.

The 265-room hotel features a rooftop restaurant and bar offering spectacular views of the mountains and city skyline. It also features distinct retail destinations, event spaces, and a light-filled lobby with multiple places for food and beverages.

Matt Archuletta, Project Executive in Beck’s Denver office, said, “We are excited Beck is building one of Denver’s and the nation’s most distinct hospitality projects. We look forward to working with our partners, Urban Village and Studio Gang, to enhance downtown Denver’s growing reputation as a unique and vibrant destination.”

Sustainable Design and Construction Features

Urban Villages is developing Populus to be carbon positive. The project features sustainable design and construction and a substantial ecological effort offsite, including an initial commitment to plant trees representing 5,378 acres of forest. This act offsets an embodied carbon footprint equivalent to nearly 500,000 gallons of gas. It also removes additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Populus will minimize its carbon footprint in the development stage. The facility will use low-carbon concrete mixes and high-recycled content materials, maximizing structural efficiency, using fewer finish materials, and minimizing waste. Populus’ ongoing operations will also be carbon positive. In addition to the building’s embodied carbon, the hotel’s general use (operational carbon) and every guest stay will help offset its carbon footprint.

The project will follow U.S. Green Building Council codes and is targeting LEED Gold certification, an environmental rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Aspen Tree inspires the Populus Design

Besides its unique triangular design, the building’s exterior mimics the characteristic patterns on the trunk of a species of an Aspen tree, Populus Tremuloides, as inspiration for the building.

The distinctive windows echo the “Aspen eyes” while also designed to perform efficiently in Denver’s varied climate. The “lids” over each window extend slightly outward according to the shade of the interior of the building and improve energy performance. The windows change in size on the interior to reflect various spaces’ public or private nature. Some go up to 30 feet high at the building’s base, which frames entrances and views into the lobby and amenity spaces.

The Populus name also fits the hotel project, in which the developer envisioned creating connectivity between people and their environments in Denver’s expanding community.