Saturday, January 9, 2010

Net Zero Low-Income Modular Homes in Colorado

I wanted to spread word of a model net-zero affordable housing project located in Lafayette, Colorado, a city located in Boulder Country about 40 miles from Denver and 10 miles from Boulder.
(image courtesy of BCHA)
The Paradigm Pilot Project, a single family home and a duplex showcase a mix of super-insulated building envelopes, smart site orientation and use renewable energy sources, combined with passive solar design strategies. The building design use a fairly straightforward modernistic vocabulary of 13 rectilinear boxes easy to manufacture in a factory setting. What's hopeful is this is an experiment of sorts to be studied and leveraged into a much larger 153 Unit housing project in the planning stages in Lafayette. It uses geothermal

The project was designed by HB&A Architects,and built by All-American Homes for the Boulder County Housing Authority. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory / Department of Energy were also partners on the project.

You can find out more about the project on the Green Building Advisor and later covered at Jetson Green. You can see helpful information about it at the Housing Authority's Website.

Here's a link to a powerpoint about the project from the BCHA site. The site also shows the construction process with highlights being the installation of the modular factory built units and solar system installation. One interesting note is the project used both evacuated tube type solar hot water and solar electric panels as part of the system. The jury's out here on the efficacy the evacuated tubes but it's interesting this technology was used on the project.

All in all, this project is an inspiration to those of us in cold-climate regions and of use to others close to home here in Vermont. Perhaps some of the lessons learned from this project can be used here on our affordable housing projects. I know Efficiency Vermont is doing it's best to partner with other non-profit and for profit developers and housing authority's to continually upgrade our housing stock, whether new construction or renovation. It's Multi-family Housing Design Checklist is a very thourogh guide helping with efficiency measures and low-energy usage. They also provide financial incentives and technical assistance to clients and project teams to extend the value of the check-list.

Perhaps with the far-away inspiration of the Colorado example and the close to home specifics of the Efficiency Vermont's checklist this will help move us forward!

1 comment:

Paul said...

Hi Steve,
Thanks for sharing. I hadn't gotten wind of this project yet--they are doing some good work.