This @climate-friendly house for #MarshallFire victims isn’t a luxury home — #Colorado Public Radio #ActOnClimate

A rendering of the RESTORE Passive House designed for Marshall fire victims. Designers hope the new home proves green homes can hit an affordable price point for middle-class families. Courtesy of Passive House:

Click the link to read the article on the Colorado Public Radio website (Sam Brasch). Here’s an excerpt:

Record-high construction prices and low insurance payouts have squeezed Marshall fire victims trying to rebuild in Boulder County. The few local companies offering to build passive homes wouldn’t work within the [Peter and Michelle Ruprecht’s] budget. That all changed with a link posted in an online community group. It directed Peter Ruprecht to a web page for the RESTORE Passive Home, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house designed for the Marshall fire burn area. The designers promised a $550,000 price tag after government incentives, which fell in line with the construction quotes the family had received from other commercial builders. The couple is now the first to sign up to build the home…

Debates over construction costs and climate-minded building standards have supercharged local politics in the aftermath of the Marshall fire. Earlier this year, Louisville and Superior — the two communities hit hardest by the disaster — faced intense pressure from fire victims worried mandatory green building codes would further boost construction prices. Both local governments ended up allowing those families to rebuild to earlier, less-stringent standards. The RESTORE Passive Home attempts to prove green homes can fit within middle-class budgets. The task could prove critical as governments push to reduce the climate impact of buildings, which account for 13 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 20 percent of Colorado emissions — largely due to natural gas appliances and an electricity grid dominated by fossil fuels. Passive homes could also help insulate families from climate threats like poor air quality and future fires. Andrew Michler, a passive house designer behind the new project, said the task requires a major shift in his industry. Instead of one-off homes built for committed environmentalists, passive home designers need to start building for the mass market. He said only about 20 homes in Colorado have met international passive home standards.

2 thoughts on “This @climate-friendly house for #MarshallFire victims isn’t a luxury home — #Colorado Public Radio #ActOnClimate

  1. A $550,000 price tag after government incentives doesn’t sound affordable to me. Also, I just love the caveat of “government incentives.” Okay, sure…and what is the price without incentives?? What ever happened to starter homes? Why can’t a company like this build smaller and offer more units? Oh, I know the answer to that…money. They wouldn’t make as much of a profit. sigh.

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