University of Colorado
The Davis Partnership
Boulder, CO
Project Size
166,000 sf
Our financially starved project required a lot of compromise. [Pinkard] gave us three or four options for virtually every line item, just so we could think about them.... Pinkard enabled us to save the soul of our building.

The Leeds School of Business project was a 166,000 sf addition and renovation to a 33-year old building on a congested site at CU Boulder. The original project  proposed a 24-month schedule, based upon phased, occupied facility construction. To provide budget savings to CU, Pinkard suggested emptying the facility to build without phasing. The plan was accepted, producing a schedule reduction to 16 months. Multiple bid packages were employed to expedite the hard end-date schedule.

Owner Additions to Scope
When construction was 50% complete, $6 million in owner-additions added 24% more scope with no schedule extensions. 

Scope of Work
The renovation and addition portions of the project were constructed concurrently. Original scope for the renovation was “paint and patch.” Owner scope additions during construction resulted in Pinkard completely gutting and renovating 103,000 sf — virtually every square foot — of the existing building. Scope included asbestos abatement and build-out of classrooms, teaching laboratories, team rooms/office space, and a 20,000 sf library. Significant structural improvements were necessary to meet current code, including seismic and fire upgrades that included new caissons and shear walls.

The 63,000 sf structural steel and sandstone veneer addition included classrooms, dining and kitchen facilities, office and board rooms, and a grand atrium with limestone tile.

The atrium is topped by a towering, copper-trimmed dome of red clay tile. A complex scaffold system six stories high was constructed to complete the atrium interior.

The Business School’s very high-end finishes include Lyons, Colorado sandstone, Indiana limestone, oak and hardwood casework trim, and limestone floor finishes from Portugal and Germany.

Occupied Campus
The project was situated in the middle of a main pedestrian thoroughfare requiring complex phasing of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Sitework and foundations began while the Business School was occupied. Careful coordination of ingress/egress, signage, noise, dust and vibration control minimized impact to classes. The renovation was done in a vacant facility. A three-acre greenbelt adjacent to the site received a significant makeover that included landscaping improvements, new sprinklers and improved pedestrian circulation.

LEED® Certification
Pinkard’s contractual obligation was to meet LEED Silver Certification. However, working in concert with Davis Partnership Architects, enough LEED points were earned to qualify the project for a higher, LEED Gold Certification. This was achieved despite the fact that the more challenging renovation portion of the project was grouped with the addition and was expected to conform to a New Construction (NC) rating. LEED Gold Certification was received January 2008.


Associated Builders and Contractors’ 2007 first place National Excellence in Construction “Eagle” award.

Testimonial Excerpts
Leeds School of Business - saving building's soul - Byron Koste
Koelbel Building Construction: Eight Months in Four Minutes