FORT COLLINS, Colo.— At 26,500-student Colorado State University, a $3.8 million renovation at Braiden Dining Center brought not only display cooking, more seating and new food concepts to the center, but also several environmentally friendly features. Deon Lategan, director of residential dining services, said he had been itching to get his hands on Braiden, which is a popular venue in the center of campus, since completing several other dining construction projects.
“The motivating force behind this latest renovation was that we needed to increase our seat count,” Lategan said. “At lunch, because of Braiden’s proximity to campus, we were just overwhelmed by customers. While we were increasing the front of the building to add seats, we took the opportunity to update the kitchen and revamp our concepts. We’ve done two other dining hall projects and they each had their own look and I wanted to take a different approach with this one. Because of the shape of the space, I thought an industrial theme would work well.”
The industrial feel can be seen in exposed millwork made from recycled sunflower seeds, decorations that feature used bicycle and skateboard parts and lighting that features LED light fixtures. The brightly colored floors are made from 76% agricultural residues, including pine resin, wood flower, jute, limestone and linseed oil from flax plants. The circle-patterned carpeting is made from recycled plastic bottles. Countertop and wall tiles feature recycled glass. Recycled aluminum and renewable agricultural products, which are a bio-friendly alternative to hard woods, cover the serving stations. There are also several walls made from cork, which is a renewable resource that can be harvested every nine to 10 years without killing the tree. The center also features compostable and reusable to-go containers and a pulper, which contributes to the department’s composting efforts.
“I wanted to create something very visual for this facility,” Lategan said. “With sustainability being such a hot topic on campus, the use of those materials and decorations only further demonstrated our sustainability efforts. I also had a sculpture made using solar panels to create a tree as part of the eco-friendly theme. We worked with Ricca Newmark Design and the ideas just grew from there.”