Skico unveils ‘green’ Base Village |

Skico unveils ‘green’ Base Village

Steve Benson
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen Skiing Co. unveiled its plans for an environmentally friendly Base Village, emphasizing the importance and benefits of energy conservation, in a Snowmass Village Town Council meeting Monday night.

Auden Schendler, Skico’s director of environmental affairs, said he and his staff are committed to exceeding the energy code by 30 percent, thereby reducing pollution and saving energy demand and costs.

Schendler also hopes to attain the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for four of the buildings in the proposed Base Village.

The Sundeck at the top of Ajax is currently one of only two buildings in the state to have achieved the LEED certification.

Special building materials, energy-efficient lighting and a centralized heating and cooling system would all be utilized to create the greenest Base Village possible, Schendler said.

While building Base Village in such a manner would be significantly more costly, the eventual savings on energy expenses could be between 6 and 40 percent.

Councilman Arnie Mordkin applauded Schendler’s efforts and “enthusiasm.”

“This is not the kind of thing you have to do, but you’re doing it,” Mordkin said.

Intrawest and Skico ” partners on the application ” would fund the project if it is approved by the Town Council.

Schendler’s presentation did not address the transportation impacts the project would have on the environment.

“Transportation is dealt with by virtue of this project,” he said. “It utilizes mass transit essentially ” I don’t think you can do a better job.

“It’s hardly like the design of this village will bring more cars into town.”

Jeff Tippett, chairman of Citizens for Responsible Growth, which objects to the project’s overall size, also appreciated the efforts, but felt there was an even more efficient manner of limiting impacts on the environment.

“They’re doing the best they can in the most responsible way,” Tippett said. “[But] making the project 30 percent smaller would have significantly less of an environmental impact.”

As for the construction impacts, Schendler said, “That’s an obvious impact, but you do what you can to address [that by utilizing] the best practices in the industry.”

Snowmass Village Mayor T. Michael Manchester commended Intrawest and Skico for pursuing the most environmentally friendly project possible.

“Keep it up,” he said.

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