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Green Building News

The NZE Model Home in Boulder’s SpringLeaf

With solar power and a geothermal systems, it’s the first – and most expensive – of 12 homes planned for an eco-development in the northwest part of town

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Rocky Mountain NZE. SpringLeaf, an eco-development in northwest Boulder, Colorado, that will include six townhouses and six single-family homes.
Image Credit: SpringLeaf
Rocky Mountain NZE. SpringLeaf, an eco-development in northwest Boulder, Colorado, that will include six townhouses and six single-family homes.
Image Credit: SpringLeaf
All 12 homes planned for the 1.75-acre SpringLeaf site will wrap around a central “pocket park.” The single-family homes will feature modern interiors and decks that look out onto the foothills of the Rockies. SpringLeaf’s developers say its six townhouses will feature 10-ft. ceilings and open floor plans. A main-floor plan, showing 1,193 sq. ft. of interior space, for one of SpringLeaf's single-family homes. The top floor includes another 1,408 sq. ft. and the basement 1,112 sq. ft.

But for the crummy economy, developers Ron Monahan and Terry Britton likely would have built all of the six townhouses and six single-family homes planned for SpringLeaf, their 1.75-acre eco-development in northwest Boulder, Colorado. Instead, they decided to move forward a bit more cautiously, building only one of the single-family houses, albeit with high-end finishes and renewables.

Visitors showing up earlier this month for SpringLeaf’s first open-house toured the 3,888-sq.-ft. $1.24 million three-bedroom and got the lowdown on its $49,000 geothermal heat pump system (with two wells, each 300 ft. deep) and a grid-linked 9.9kW photovoltaic system. As noted in a recent story in the Longmont Times-Call, the developers fully expect that the model – a big house by green construction standards – will earn LEED Platinum certification and perform at or very near net-zero energy. The performance and sustainability goals are the same (or very similar) for the remaining units, although those homes will be built, as SpringLeaf finds buyers, to a smaller scale and at a lower price.

“That’s the next thing we’re chasing,” Monahan told the paper. “We’ve hit the LEED Platinum out of the park; now we’re going after the price point.”

Serial green

SpringLeaf is not Monahan’s first high-efficiency green project. Collaborating with Boulder-based architect George Watt, who also designed SpringLeaf, Monahan announced in February plans to build what he said will be the first zero-energy home in South Carolina as part of Phase One of The Ridge at Chukker Creek, a project that includes 75 Energy Star homes.

SpringLeaf also is progressing in the spirit of other projects in the Boulder area that have embraced green principles, including Geos, a net-zero-energy mixed-use community that, if developer Norbert Klebl’s financing plans stay on track, will include as many as 240 homes and 30 live/work spaces on 25 acres in Arvada, Colorado, about 20 minutes southeast of Boulder.

As noted on the SpringLeaf website, the remaining homes planned for the development are designed with three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath layouts and as much as 2,700 sq. ft. of interior space, as well as geothermal and solar energy systems.

One Comment

  1. Brent Lerwill, Brentwood Building & Home Inspections | | #1

    Net Zero building
    How can anyone claim to be green with a 3,888-sq.-ft. single family home? It seems to me to be an oxymoron. Can ostentation and excess fit into a green scenario, even if it is net zero?

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