Affordable SIP Mountain Zero Energy Community

Location: Basalt, CO

Project Information

Project Type: Residential, < 3,000 sq. ft.
Manufacturer: Premier Building Systems
Builder: Habitat For Humanity Roaring Fork Valley
Design Professional: 2757 Design Co.
Year Built: 2021


High Performance: No
HERS/EUI Index Score:
ACH50 - Blower Test Results: 2.5
CO2 lbs./sq.ft./year:

Awards/Certifications: Building Excellence Awards

BEA: 2022 Affordable Housing Runner Up

SIP panels saved on labor and construction costs. It also i Using SIP panels increased the R-value of our building envelope increasing our R value from R-21 to R-24. Our blower door test results also improved. We found that there was a cost savings associated with the change as well, since the insulation scope decreased. We also found that installing SIP panels was more volunteer friendly, which is important when working with Habitat for Humanity.

Building use:
Basalt Vista is an affordable housing, net zero neighborhood.  Basalt is a rural mountain town of 3,984 people in Pitkin and Eagle counties, Colorado. Located between the larger City of Glenwood Springs to the North and the international ski resort of Aspen to the South, the town of Basalt was originally a railroad town and now is a thriving tourist destination. The wide gap between the high resort area cost of living (especially for housing) and actual wages paid locally makes it difficult to recruit and retain teachers and essential personnel within the community.  These individuals hold jobs that are key to the well-being of children and communities, but cannot afford to live close to where they work. While Habitat RFV has been building homes with lower income families for 20 years, they have become increasingly aware of the acute need for housing for middle income workers who provide vital services. A 2019 regional housing study projected that by 2027 there would be a deficit of 5,700 housing units in the region. This need is what brought about an extraordinary collaboration with the Roaring Fork School District, Pitkin County and the Town of Basalt to build the Basalt Vista Housing Partnership—located behind Basalt High School—which provided 27 affordable, energy-efficient homes for teachers and others in the local workforce. Basalt Vista has created a model for affordable net-zero housing that can be adopted by communities throughout Colorado and across the country.

SIP benefits for this job:
During the height of COVID, we needed to find an alternative to reduce cost while maintaining the building envelope rating.  Basalt Vista is a net zero affordable housing community and SIP construction reduced the overall cost of construction. In order to achieve net zero, the performance of the building envelope is crucial. SIP panels exceeded the minimum standard for the wall R-value.

Describe energy efficient products or design features used:
Air source heat pump for heating and cooling, ERV for ventilation, Heat Pump Water Heater for water heating, energy star appliances, induction range, LED lights.

Solar panels:
Yes, the system is about 11 kW per home.

Additional elements and design features, i.e. landscaping, low VOC finishes, recycled materials, etc.:
Native seed for all landscaping except front lawn to reduce watering demand, low VOW paint. All light fixtures were recycled from our Restore.

Additional comments:
Governor Polis has cited this project as an example for the state and nation for net zero building in an affordable way.  Total project consists of 27 Net Zero homes


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