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Mariposa Meadows

Live Life Free

The VISION House at Mariposa Meadows is Green Builder Media’s first off-grid, self-sufficient, resilient, and carbon neutral demonstration project.

Surrounded by millions of acres of national forest in the San Juan mountains of Colorado near Telluride, the VISION House at Mariposa Meadows unites extraordinary design, extreme performance, innovative products and intelligent technology.

The VISION House at Mariposa Meadows features a wide spectrum of sustainable solutions, from high performance building envelope systems to renewables to enabling technologies, extending into areas such as wildfire risk mitigation, intelligent water, waste reduction, clean mobility solutions, onsite food production, and ecosystem protection.

In addition onsite testing, research, and performance monitoring activities, Mariposa Meadows will be used as a destination location for a variety of thought leadership events, with the goal of educating visitors about advanced sustainable living solutions.

While our vision for Mariposa Meadows is big, our footprint is small. Like with every good building project, we’re doing our best to respect the privacy and solitude of our neighbors—namely, the moose, elk, and beaver. Our master plan is efficient—you won’t see any McMansions or oversized structures on Mariposa Meadows, and everything that we’ve built to date has been so precise that we are net zero-waste (nary a dumpster on the jobsite!)

What's New in the Meadow?

  • Artist Rendering of Mariposa Meadows

    The VISION House at Mariposa Meadows, shown here in an artistic rendering,will consist of three entirely self-sufficient, off-grid structures: Atrium Duet—two living units connected by a central enclosed atrium/living space; Aspen Cabin—two story structure with open loft; and Studio—two story structure with garage on first floor and studio on second floor.

  • Mariposa Meadows

    Green Builder Media CEO Sara Gutterman is excited about the immense possibilities that will come from this project. Green Builder Media will publish research and testing results through articles, white papers, blogs, and live and online presentations. 

  • Mariposa Meadows Winter

    Deep snows of the long Colorado winters create a winter wonderland—and an unforgiving testing climate for manufacturers to see how their products hold up. When built out, the Mariposa Meadows property will be traversed via horseback and snow shoes during the wintertime.

  • Mariposa Meadows Ron Jones

    Green Builder Media Co-founder Ron Jones takes a load off on a relic of yesteryear. Far from considering the old ways obsolete, he notes that old and new and futuristic all play a part in creating a sustainable existence.

  • Mariposa Meadows summer

    Mariposa Meadows is an 120-acre in-holding surrounded by millions of acres of National Forest land and Federal wilderness area, located near Lake City, high in the Colorado Rockies.

  • Mariposa Meadows SIPS

    Nudura ICFs were used in Phase 1 at the VISION House at Mariposa Meadows. Donation by the CICFI.

  • SIP Raising at Mariposa Meadows

    From concept to reality ... Mariposa Meadows' structures came to life at the "SIPs Raising," which happened in October. The high-performance panels, provided by AFM Technologies, are the perfect building solution for the extreme weather of the Colorado Rockies. As part of the project, SIPA and Green Builder Media will analyze the performance of the SIPs.

  • Mariposa Meadows SIPs

    Managing Waste: Trimmings from the ICF’s were used to add extra insulation to the foundation walls rather than throwing it away.

  • Mariposa Meadows SIPs and flooring

    SIPA panels and Norbord pointSIX Durastrand Flooring.

  • Mariposa Meadows Boise Cascade Norbord

    Boise Cascade 6000 Series I-Joists and Norbord products are part of this super efficient building envelope.

  • Mariposa Meadows very little waste

    Managing Waste: The total waste after installing the SIPs in 2 of the 3 structures.

  • Mariposa Meadows Uponor DuPont

    Uponor and DuPont products waiting to be installed.

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The 11 Tenets

Here are the eco-landmarks we navigate by as we create this sustainable enclave.

 Energy EfficiencyEnergy Efficiency Off-the-grid living demands the ultimate in energy-efficient products. Here’s what we picked.
 RenewablesRenewables Dependence on petroleum is dead; instead, we use these easy-on-the-environment technologies.
Water and Resource Conservation Water and Resource Conservation Natural resources are finite. Here are the techniques and products we use to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
 Indoor Air QualityIndoor Air Quality Healthy buildings mean healthy people. We spec’d products that make the indoors as fresh as the meadow air surrounding us.
 Smart TechnologySmart Technology We harness smart tech that will make life simpler and help us be more sustainable.
 DurabilityDurability See which building science practices and green products hold up to the harsh realities of high-altitude living.
 Resilient Housing Disaster can strike anywhere. Techniques and products can help buffer buildings from these assaults.
 Multifunctional Living SpacesMultifunctional Living Spaces We designed spaces that morph and accommodate more than one function.
 Onsite Food Production Fresh food grown on site is the healthiest and most green way to go (not to mention tastiest!) Here are some notes from the high-altitude larder.
 Indoor/Outdoor LivingIndoor/Outdoor Living New products and design conceits blur the lines between shelter and the soul-healing outdoors.
 Wildlife ProtectionWildlife Protection Wildlife conservation means protecting all plant and animal species and their habitats so nature will be around for future generations to enjoy. Here’s how we address this important concept.