`Green building’ touted at pair of local programs
Buildings consume 35 percent of the energy used in the UnitedStates each year.And construction uses 40 percent of the nation’s resources annuallywhile construction waste makes up 25 percent of total landfillvolume.Because alternative building methods and materials can reducethis massive waste, building departments in some towns in theRoaring Fork Valley are now promoting energy-efficient buildingpractices through a certification program called the Roaring ForkGreen Building Program. Two upcoming presentations on the subject of “green building,”sponsored by Aspen’s Community Office for Resource Efficiency(CORE), will introduce the Green Program and present solutionsto the problems of energy inefficiency and waste in the buildingindustry.Aspen’s Given Institute will be the site of a lecture at 6:15p.m. Thursday on the subject of building green. A reception willbegin at 5:30 p.m. On Friday, a workshop for builders and architectswill be held at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs from 9a.m. to 4 p.m.Speakers at the Thursday lecture event will be green buildingconsultant David Johnston and architect Ann Edminster. Johnston,based in Boulder, has worked with the Denver Home Builders Association,the U.S. Department of Energy, Rocky Mountain Institute and varouscommunities all over the country.Edminster, presently with the Natural Resources Defense Council,has focused her architectural work on efficient construction methods.She will speak on advanced framing methods, engineered lumberproducts and waste reduction practices.Participants in Friday’s workshop in Glenwood Springs will learnhow to build environmentally friendly buildings less expensivelywhile reducing waste, and learn about green building productsand vendors.Information about the Roaring Fork Green Program and its permitfee reductions will be available, and participants will hear aboutthe green-building program in effect at Carbondale’s River ValleyRanch.How to enter this new market, how to generate satisfied clientsand referrals and how to get a jump on the competition will alsobe subjects of discussion. A lunch fee of $15 will be charged.The Roaring Fork Green program creates an incentive for buildersand new homeowners to build houses with less environmental impactthan the typical house. CORE’s Joani Matranga said Carbondaleand Glenwood Springs now grant reductions in building-permit feesfor those who score high on a checklist of environmentally friendlybuilding practices. Aspen and Pitkin County are also involvedin the program, but have not yet passed legislation to implementthe permit-fee reductions.Architect Jeff Dickinson, who helped write the Green Program’schecklist, said the checklist includes improvements in 15 areasranging from building site to roof to paint.”Everything you do on a building has an environmental impact,”from the impact of shipping materials to the interior environmentfinally created, he said.The program awards points for green practices. Protecting existingtrees is worth two points and recycling cardboard is worth one.Installing an exhaust fan in the garage to expel carbon monoxideis worth three points.”It gets builders and homeowners to think about the implicationsof every building material,” Dickinson said.While participants benefit from lower utility bills and higherresale prices, good indoor air quality is the biggest benefitof green building practices, Dickinson said.Many building products used today release gases that are toxicto some degree. Adhesives can release xylene and toluene, andcomposite materials often release formaldehyde. The Green Programadvocates using nontoxic, water-based alternatives that are availablefor the same price.”It’s not like we’re asking people to use products that don’texist,” Dickinson said. “These are products that are becomingmore mainstream.”
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Colorado’s Legislature plowed ahead Tuesday on special session legislation to provide millions in limited state relief to businesses, students and others affected by the coronavirus pandemic.