Rocky Mountain Institute plans a ‘deep green’ HQ in Basalt
The Rocky Mountain Institute is designing a 15,000-square-foot office and conference space that will be a national showcase for energy efficiency, Michael Kinsley, a senior researcher with the nonprofit organization, told an audience in Basalt on Thursday.
“RMI’s Basalt building will demonstrate deep-green results,” Kinsley said at the first of what town officials plan to be quarterly meetings to discuss development activity. “I think the most important point I want to make is that RMI is committed to Basalt.”
The institute’s current office in the Roaring Fork Valley is at the Windstar property in Old Snowmass. The property was sold this spring, and the institute must vacate the office within two years. It has purchased property from the town of Basalt where the Taqueria el Nopal restaurant is located. The Roaring Fork Conservancy plans to build an office and exhibit center just west of the site. The Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park to the east of the institute site is slated for redevelopment with a hotel and commercial and residential buildings.
Kinsley said the institute intends to submit its development proposal to the town of Basalt in the third quarter of this year. The town accelerates review for nonprofits. Important issues such as parking still must be resolved.
“I know how important it is to you all to get it done right,” Kinsley said.
The building will include “convening space” for small events that will draw influential people from throughout the country, he said. They will come to check out the energy-efficiency features the building promotes. The Rocky Mountain Institute contends that if every commercial building in the country were as green as the one it will build, there would be enough energy savings in one month to power New York City for a year.
The presence of the building will boost Basalt’s economy, Kinsley said, because the people drawn will eat, sleep and shop.
Roaring Fork District schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt are heading into the new school year more fully staffed than in recent years.
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