NREL Café

Golden, Colorado

This LEED® Platinum café, located at the heart of NREL’s South Table Mountain campus, is an expandable facility equipped to provide daily food service for the entire NREL campus.

It also provides catering for campus events and seating capacity to accommodate shifts in interior seating space with outdoor seating space for exterior dining.

The café uses light shelf design, fixed blinds, and daylight harvesting via solatubes to maximize energy efficiency, achieving 75% daylighting. Additional features include indirect evaporative cooling, high-efficiency air handling, low-energy lighting, and the novel use of waste heat energy recovery from kitchen exhaust hoods and the commercial dishwasher.

This project won a 2013 honor award from the National Design-Build Institute of America.

At a glance

  • Owner National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Architect RNL
  • Delivery method Design-Build
  • Project size 12,200 SF
  • Construction cost$6.75 million
  • Completed May 2012