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Alpen News

July 25, 2017

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Living Building Challenge at TEDxBend

TEDx Talk by Jason McLennan, Founder of Living Future Institute This 2015 talk does a a fantastic job of explaining The Living Building Challenge and how everything developed. “People said, ‘Jason, you’re crazy. This is too hard–LEED is already too hard, they thought. How are we going to do living buildings? How are we going

July 10, 2017

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Award-Winning Efficiency Program in FoCo

Utilities around the country have efficiency programs; however, Fort Collins wanted to take its project to the next level. “Utilities started doing efficiency programs by implementing the low-hanging fruit. Now that they already have early adopters doing the easy projects, the question is how to take the next step, getting more people involved and getting

June 23, 2017

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What is Whole Building Design?

When you think about design and construction, you make think of it in separate sections. Foundation, windows, plumbing, etc. But this is not how modern buildings are designed and built. They first go through a rigorous design process known as whole building design. What is whole building design? The idea behind this process is to

June 9, 2017

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What Tomorrow Will Look Like: Everyday Sustainability!

Today, we have AI that can make our grocery list, we create green roofs for in-office get-aways, and we’re even testing self-driving cars (a lot!). But that’s small compared to what may be coming – everyday sustainability. Tomorrow, well, we really don’t know–we’re hoping it will be efficient and amazing.   Much like the smartphone,

May 22, 2017

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Highlands Retreat

A high performance home in the mountains of North Carolina When considering a new home, the owners (Andy and Gayle) wanted to save energy in order to lower energy bills and reduce their use of fossil fuels–as well as preserve some great south-facing views.   When they finally began designing their house, they understood the

May 8, 2017

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A Lesson In Choosing the Right Glaziers, Window Systems and Glazing

As many out there know, there are some scary facilities maintenance stories. This one is about window maintenance—or the lack of it—that ended up as a full building retrofit with a $4.5 million dollar price tag. Ouch! And let’s preface the story with — This isn’t a story about an Alpen project or products —

April 26, 2017

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The World Is Watching: Sustainable Development Goals

You may remember the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, created 17 years ago. The results from this global effort were not insignificant, and they’ve now inspired the continuation of effort in the form of the Sustainable Development Goals. Past Success Some successes of the Millennium Development Goals, specifically in regards to environmental sustainability, include: 98%

April 10, 2017

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Three “Starter” Houses to Begin Your Sustainable Lifestyle

Sustainable living can mean adapting social, economic and sustainable practices to every aspect of your life. So, if life needs a heart, and a home is where a heart is—then sustainable living starts with the home!   Here are three amazing and environmentally friendly homes that could kick-start your new sustainable life. Oh, and remember:

March 17, 2017

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A Headquarters Worthy of its Mission

The Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center in Basalt, Colorado “This building achieves beyond net-zero energy because we have gotten better at choosing and combining technologies to maximize building performance.” –Amory Lovins   The Three Main Design Challenges of the RMI Innovation Center in Basalt, Colorado: Meeting the goal of net zero in one of the

March 3, 2017

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Why Should Your Building Be “Net Zero”?

A Net Zero Energy (NZE) building, “balances its energy needs with energy produced from renewable, zero-emission sources” (SF Tool). These types of buildings are rapidly becoming much more common in the United States, so no; it’s not just a phase. Competition of NZE NZE housing and commercial buildings are increasing in popularity, often providing “bragging