Public housing in Colorado’s Boulder County not only took a green turn in 2009, it took a turn toward energy efficient modular construction.
By late October, in the town of Lafayette, the county’s Housing & Human Services division had unveiled the tangible results of its Paradigm Pilot Project: a modular single-family home and adjacent duplex manufactured by project partner All American Homes and designed to deliver near net-zero-energy performance. As noted in a story recently posted by the Daily Camera, the long-term performance of the buildings and the collaborations and initiatives that brought the project to life could have significant implications for similar county projects in the future.
“This was an experiment to see how well this comes together,” Scott Simkus, developer for the county’s housing department, told the Daily Camera. “This is the first time the factory has built a near-zero-energy project.”
In addition to having well-insulated exterior walls and roofs, the Paradigm Pilot homes are sited to take advantage of passive solar gain and are supported by solar power and ground-source heat pump systems whose design allows the systems to be scaled up for larger modular-construction projects.
The county also used Paradigm Pilot as a training vehicle for unskilled workers and partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, HB&A Architects, Farnsworth Group, Lighthouse Solar, Major Geothermal, and All American Homes on a range of project priorities, from design to construction protocols to performance testing.