Talking Green: Explore green building with the Sustainable Building Tour |

Talking Green: Explore green building with the Sustainable Building Tour

Kate Brocato
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

Every year, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s Sustainable Building Tour provides community members, builders and real estate agents an opportunity to tour homes that are pushing on the constructs of conventional building styles and practices by incorporating features to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and utilize sustainable and reclaimed materials.

The tour showcases the innovation and creativity necessary when building homes conducive to Steamboat’s climate. It also is a chance for event attendees to speak with the homeowners, builders and designers about any questions they might have regarding the home or building process.

This year’s Sustainable Building Tour is bringing together everything that community members love about the tour in a safe, virtual format. Each part of the two-part series, happening 4 to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10, will feature a single sustainably built home that has been captured through beautiful videography.

The videos will be aired during the events and will be followed by a Q & A session with the designers, builders and homeowners afterwards. The homes featured on the tour include a remodeled 1970s A-frame cabin down the road from the Thunderhead chairlift and a recently built SmartPads home in Fairview.

Viewers may find the tour especially interesting and exciting this year, as the homes capture aspects of green building that do not always come to mind when thinking about ways to improve the sustainability of a project.

Oftentimes, the first actions that are taken to make a home more sustainable center around improving energy efficiency aspects, which are important measures to be sure, especially when considering the energy it takes to heat our homes during winter. However, there are other design aspects that can be considered when focusing on ways to reduce the impact of a building or a home on the surrounding landscape and beyond.

Attendees can expect the virtual event to cover topics ranging from strategies to reduce waste during the construction process to features of social and economic sustainability that are important to consider when designing and building homes that can bring homeowners joy for years to come.

We also will discuss some of the more technical aspects of green building like how each home has been oriented in order to maximize solar gain and the different heating systems, types of insulation and windows that have been used to reduce energy usage.

Those interested in attending the event can email to register.

Kate Brocato is the communications and program director of the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.

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