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VISION House Aspen Unveiling

THROUGH OUR VISION HOUSE SERIES, Green Builder Media showcases a spectrum of different types of homes that use advanced green products and building practices. You may remember reading about our last project, ReVISION Vegas, a green retrofit of a mid-century modern home for the average American family that scored a negative 2 HERS rating (meaning that it produces more energy than it uses).

In contrast to the modest ReVISION Vegas, our latest project, the VISION House Aspen, is a study in the possibilities of high-end sustainable design and construction. Perched next to a 300-acre conservation easement on the outskirts of Aspen, Colo., the VISION House Aspen's stunning 360-degree views of mountains, valleys, and mesas will take your breath away. But even more impressive than the view is the suite of sophisticated technologies and systems used within the home to achieve exemplary levels of resource efficiency, durability, and long-term sustainability.

In the VISION House Aspen, we have addressed the full sustainability story, including land, energy, water, materials, indoor environment quality, and waste management. The project is qualified as LEED Gold and National Green Building Program Silver, and it passes Pitkin County's Efficient Building Ordinance with flying colors. We're eagerly awaiting the results of the blower door test that will take place later this month. We anticipate that the house will earn a HERS score of 50 or better (our target is 46), which is impressive for the Rocky Mountain climate that has a standard HERS index of 85.

As with every VISION House demonstration project, we learned important lessons about how we can continue to push the envelope relative to green design and construction. Because of the scope, scale, and detailed craftsmanship involved in this particular project, perhaps the most important reminder was that sustainability requires a cohesive, integrated team. We commend our partners, builder Paradigm Construction, architect Environmental Dynamics Inc., and interior designer Pared Down Design for their dedication to creating an exquisitely unique green residence.

If you're going to be in the Aspen area (or are looking for a good excuse to take a spring ski trip), please join us for the unveiling of the VISION House Aspen on March 25 and 26. We'll host an educational event and tour (with AIA and USGBC CEUs) for designers and architects on Thursday, March 25; an educational event and tour for builders, contractors, raters, and code officials on Friday, March 26; and a VIP party for everyone in the evening of March 26.


Write to me at sara.gutterman@greenbuildermedia.com or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

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