Mountain Mayhem: RMI’S Innovation Center |

Mountain Mayhem: RMI’S Innovation Center

New York Times journalist Tom Friedman with Charles Wang and RMI Chief Scientist & Co-Founder Amory Lovins. Jordan Shevene photo.

In December 2015, Rocky Mountain Institute’s new Innovation Center was complete, adding an exciting new enterprise to downtown Basalt. Located at 22830 Two Rivers Road, the Innovation Center is a 15,610-square-foot office building and state-of-the-art convening center. Co-founded in 1982 by Amory Lovins, its Chairman Emeritus and Chief Scientist, RMI now has approximately 150 full-time staff, annual operations of $30 million, and a global reach and reputation. It serves as an independent, non-partisan nonprofit that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources. To advance its mission and propel the industry, RMI constructed the LEED Platinum-certified facility to demonstrate how deep green buildings are designed, contracted, built, and occupied.

On Feb. 24, RMI celebrated the Innovation Center’s grand opening with a special reception featuring New York Times columnist and author Tom Friedman who spoke before an audience with Lovins about the building and important work done by RMI on a local and global scale.

Lovins shared their intent to build the center as a “living lab” and all that was learned in the process of its development that can be used as a model for constructing and managing other buildings. In doing so it will serve as a practical model to inform thousands of buildings that would otherwise contribute significantly to the climate crisis.

The Innovation Center not only exceeds Architecture 2030 Challenge goals, but is also poised to receive an Energy Star target score of 10 this summer.

Starting in June, the public is invited to visit the Innovation Center on complimentary tours offered on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 4 p.m. In July and August, they’ll be offered weekly every Thursday at 4 p.m.

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