Vision House Aspen

Vision House Aspen

This show home demonstrates that efficiency, durability and cost effectiveness can be achieved through responsible design and construction practices. Technologies and products were employed, including efficient, functional and beautiful Ultra Series windows.

Architect: Stace McGee, Environmental Dynamics Inc. | Builder: Paradigm Construction Corp. | Kolbe Distributor: Roaring Fork Building Specialties


Vision House Aspen N514Green Goals
The Green Builder® VISION House Aspen celebrated its grand opening with educational events and tours on March 25-26, 2010. Sited near Aspen, Colo., VISION House is one in a sequence of show-home projects that demonstrate resource efficiency, durability and cost effectiveness through environmentally responsible design and construction practices.

The home will be rated for four different guidelines: LEED® for Homes, Built Green Colorado, Aspen and Pitkin County's building departments’ Green Building Initiatives Program, and the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Green Building Program. To meet these guidelines and accomplish its intended goals, VISION House Aspen employs a multitude of technologies, system and products including Kolbe's Ultra Series premium, aluminum clad windows.

Kolbe's windows capitalize on both style and performance in highlighting the lot's 360° panoramic views of Aspen Mountain, Snowmass Mountain, and the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. The area has a rich history steeped in mining and is now a leading international mountain resort that attracts a wide variety of visitors from around the globe.

VISION House Aspen is an exercise in the possibilities. The combination of Kolbe's quality, features and options, made it a unanimous choice for the project’s decision makers.

"VISION House Aspen is an exercise in the possibilities," says Ron Jones, editorial director of Green Builder Magazine. Having researched the products featured in VISION House Aspen, he notes, "The combination of Kolbe's quality, features and options, made it a unanimous choice for the project’s decision makers."

Vision House Aspen N516 N523"We looked at a lot of different window manufacturers. Our design team was determined to use the highest quality windows available to give the project a clean, 'Modern Mountain' look," says J. Stace McGee, partner with Environmental Dynamics, Inc. (EDI) of Albuquerque, N.M. "When we saw Kolbe's nice, square, clean aesthetics, we knew that was it. It not only gave us the look we wanted, it also met the budget needs and the ENERGY STAR standard.

McGee, together with his EDI colleague Kenny Myers, were the home's primary designers. McGee also is a LEED Accredited Professional (AP), LEED AP+Homes, and a Green Rater. He adds that Kolbe's windows "also contributed to our LEED for Homes score" on the 6,750-square-foot, two-level property. "To create a sustainable example in the luxury market is a difficult endeavor. VISION House is successful in showing it’s possible to achieve this."

Stylishly Sustainable
"While many view large upscale homes as the antithesis of green or sustainable, I believe that regardless of whether a building or development is commercial, industrial or residential, high- or low-costing, everything we build today should be done with a sustainable approach," emphasizes VISION House builder, Gerry Hazelbaker of Paradigm Construction Corp. in Basalt, Colorado.

Matching a full range of sizes and styles, Kolbe's Ultra Series offers options to address energy-efficient requirements, enabling the products to meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® guidelines. Helping lower energy consumption and costs, the windows reflect unwanted solar heat in the summer and retain desired heat during cooler months. Compared with traditional, residential construction, VISION House is estimated to reduce energy use by 50 percent.

Vision House Aspen N502In addition to glass options and energy performance, Kolbe's products are offered in a broad palette of finishes and interior wood species, and other accessories to coordinate with nearly any d├ęcor. For VISION House Aspen, Kolbe's Ultra Series windows are constructed of alder, which is widely recognized as a sustainable species. The windows' exterior cladding is composed of recycled aluminum and finished with a durable anodize, and accented with a custom, flat profile, Performance Divided Lites (PDLs).

Jones continues, "Kolbe’s windows are manufactured using … recycled materials. They're made with high-quality seals and hardware, which not only improve performance, but also are essential to meet client expectations in a home of this caliber."

"It's an honor to be involved with the VISION House program," says Cindy Bremer, Kolbe's director of marketing. "We have a commitment to producing energy-efficient products using environmentally friendly processes and suppliers, so our participation in a project that promotes sustainability is a natural fit."

The combination of Kolbe's quality, features and options, made it a unanimous choice for the project's decision makers.

"Sustainability in window performance is an important design consideration. Kolbe's use of the highest quality, American-made materials contributes to these goals in many ways," says Royal Laybourn of Colorado's Roaring Fork Building Specialties. "In addition to higher performance levels, better materials also contribute to a longer service life and lower lifetime maintenance. Combine sustainability with high style and you have the complete package."

Vision House Aspen N504Jones agrees, "The careful articulation and execution of the intent of the project, when combined with the performance data we will mine from the operation of this exquisite residence, will provide invaluable insight into the challenges and potential solutions for the luxury resort market. It further demonstrates the simple truth that sustainability requires teamwork above all else."

McGee agrees, "This project has all the typical bells and whistles of a luxury home." He says VISION House Aspen features "glamorously green finishes throughout the house," while being "over 50% more efficient than the 2006 IECC [International Energy Conservation Code]."

The blower door test conducted in March showed 0.23 air changes per hour, which McGee reports "are the best results ever in the Roaring Fork Valley area." He adds, "I am very confident we’ll get a LEED-Gold rating."

Furthermore, McGee says, compared to the base case index, VISION House Aspen should achieve:

  • 47% reduction in carbon dioxide, saving 43.8 tons per year
  • 40% reduction in sulfur dioxide, saving 70.1 pounds per year
  • 46% reduction in nitrogen oxides, saving 124.8 pounds per year
  • 35% reduction in domestic water use

Photos courtesy Patrick Coulie Architectural Photography

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