AIA Award

At a ceremony last month Juana Gómez of Lawrence and Gómez Architects, along with Lisa Fletcher and Scott Rodwin received the 2015 Award for Community Service by the Colorado North Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This award recognizes the exemplary contribution of service to the community. AIAaward2015

The award announcement in the Daily Camera: click here to view Business Briefcase 1/7/2016.

Lisa, Juana, and Scott were nominated for their efforts as the three architect members of a five-person committee that created and implemented the inaugural Boulder Green Home Tour 2015. The other two members represented the non-profits Colorado Green Building Guild and Colorado Renewable Energy Society.

The purpose of the Tour was to highlight some of the most innovative green building projects in Boulder and to help promote the collaborative exchange of ideas on green building in our community. The intention of the self-paced educational tour was to feature a wide range of styles and budgets. Visitors could experience the aspirational as well as the practical. The projects included large new houses, modest remodels, and compact affordable housing. Click here to view the web page of the Boulder Green Home Tour.

The committee began with a lot of enthusiasm and ideas, but with no budget nor venues. Over many months, they strategized a plan. They began contacting dozens of people to generate funding and to request project submissions. Fundraising efforts garnered partnerships from Tesla, Solar Glass, Luxe Magazine, and others. Two other committee members included the Chair Ambra Sutherlin of the Colorado Green Building Guild and Kirsten Frysinger with Sustainably Built and the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. They edited and produced a tour book that served as guide and illustrated each house with photos, narratives, lists of features, and project teams. They also created and tested the web site, Facebook page, payment and ticket links with some outside tech support.

The nominees generated the project submission requirements; the applicants were reviewed by a selection committee. A tour book served as guide and illustrated each house with photos, narratives, lists of features, and project teams. Ahead of the event, the nominees solicited volunteers, prepared materials, and provided examples for a training meeting that included project host teams. The committee worked hard so that in the weeks prior to the Tour, the event was well publicized in web sites and print media. Articles in the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post generated regional enthusiasm for the Boulder Green Home Tour 2015.

The Tour took place on September 26th and brought together more than 100 Boulder and Front Range businesses who contributed to the design and construction of the houses. Companies such as Sustainably Built, Alpen Windows, Specialty Appliance, and Namaste Solar provided information and educational materials about the latest green building techniques and systems at each of the houses.

The homes included a wide variety of sustainable aspects including passive solar design, ground source heat pumps, solar energy systems, alternative insulation materials, the latest in window technology, non-toxic, renewable and recycled materials, water conserving plumbing and landscaping, and much more. Some of the homes are among the greenest in the nation and include LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy and even “regenerative housing” (making more energy than it consumes).

The committee had expected 200-300 attendees in its inaugural year, hoped for 400. There were over 450 visitors viewing 8 houses, 2 multi-family projects, and a tiny house. Supporting the event were 54 host team members with 37 volunteers, many of them CU students in environmental design and architectural engineering. The day of the Tour culminated with a gathering of our sponsors, homeowners, builders, and event organizers. At that time, the nominees and the committee were proud to present a portion of the proceeds to Flatirons Habitat for Humanity to contribute to their efforts of providing affordable housing in our community.

Feedback from visitors and participants was very positive. There is great expectation for next year’s tour. The nominees look forward to making this an annual event with more participants.