Sometimes it seems like deep green building is for the wealthy. Even a “for the masses” house in a zero-energy neighborhood in Boulder clocks in at more than $1 million. But now, Boulder County is trying to bring green — and the resulting cut in energy bills and increase in comfort — to those with fewer resources.
Boulder County’s Housing Authority, which helps low-income familes, seniors and people with disabilities find a place to live, is going seriously green.
The county finished the Paradigm Pilot Project in October. The tiny, near zero-energy development is only three units, but it’s the template for a much larger plan: a 153-unit green neighborhood.
When the cranes showed up at the property on Avalon Avenue last summer in Lafayette, they wrenched 13 giant boxes off the back of five semi-trucks and stacked them like Lego blocks.
When the cranes left, the connected boxes — which were already fitted with wood floors, cabinets, countertops and porches — had become the modern-looking Paradigm Pilot Project, a near-zero-energy, low-income pair of buildings owned by Boulder County. The tiny project can only house three low-income families, but it’s just a test run for the much larger green-building aspirations held by the county’s housing authority. Read more