Thank you to our speakers from last night’s Green Building Workshop!

Certified green building does require extra attention, but it is very doable and valuable in Routt County, according to a panel of local architects, homebuilders, homeowners and construction managers during a September 8 workshop in Steamboat. The Green Building Happy Hour Workshop presented by YVSC and Energy Smart Colorado was well attended with folks ranging from construction managers to architects to locals planning to build a new home. Presenters emphasized that home building should not be judged on the basis of lowest cost per square footage but rather on performance and quality, just as consumers would consider when shopping for vehicles or other long-lasting items.

Homebuilder Tarn Dickerson said he found the third-party certification professionals for the LEED for Homes project he completed as valuable resources for bouncing off ideas and reviewing work. Architects and builders emphasized simpler designs, such as fewer corners and simplified roof lines, as better in order to achieve well-insulated and affordable green buildings. Presenters said LEED does have the advantage of a national acceptance level and the prestige of being a good example.

The workshop included seven separate 10- to 15-minute presentations on the topics: Routt County Green Building Program for single and multi-family projects, Energy Star for residential, commercial energy audits and LED lighting, Green Globes, and LEED for homes and commercial buildings.

Architect and homebuilder Adam Wright estimated that the management, oversight, energy monitoring and materials needed to complete his 2,700-square-foot residential building project, including an apartment above the home’s garage, to the base level of certification for LEED Homes Version 4 standard cost approximately $26,000. ($14,000 for management/oversight/energy monitoring and $12,000 in material costs) This amounts to approximately 4 percent of the total project cost.

Homeowner and builder Scott Kemp said his home achieved a blue rating in the county program, “Without a heck of a lot of effort, honestly.” Kemp said he included the requirement to meet green building standards in all scope of work contracts upfront when selecting subcontractors so that everyone was on the same page from the beginning.

Many of the presenters emphasized that certified green and energy efficient building using a checklist system is a logical and doable next step in quality, common sense building practices. Architect Nick Doro introduced the local audience to the process of Green Globes from his experiences with the Deer Park Road Corp. commercial office building that is the first Green Globes project being built in Routt County. Doro said one of the best aspects of Green Globes is the 1,000-point beginning survey that brings everyone to the same level of concerted effort and the same set of goals and standards. He said Green Globes seemed to be very similar yet less cumbersome and less expensive that LEED.

Architect Jan Kaminski said he has been tracking energy usage at the Energy Star apartment complex he designed in the Old Town neighborhood in Steamboat, and it has met its predicted HERS index performance score and low energy cost goals. Kaminski said of the project energy goals, “I thought it was going to be difficult, and it really proved to be simple.”

Green building certified program options are based on: occupant comfort, durability, healthy indoor air, energy efficiency, resource conservation, materials efficiency and social equity. Although third-party certifiable green building is not without its challenges in terms of paperwork and locating best materials in a more rural area, the presenters said green and high energy efficient building can become the new normal all across greater Routt County.

Video and Presentation links:

Introductions: Video
Kemp/Green Building program: Video PDF Download
Fischer/Green Building program: Video
Kaminski/Energy Star for residential: Video  PDF Download
Q&A with speakers 1-3: Video
Kline/Commercial Audits/LED lighting: Video  PDF Download
Doro/LEED certification for Deer Park Road project:   Video
Wright-Dickerson/ LEED for Residential: Video  PDF Download
Kohler-Olsen/LEED Commercial:  Video
Q&A with speakers 4-7: Video


Thank you to our sponsors for this event! 

McKnights Irish Pub
Energy Smart Colorado
Cen$ible Energy