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First Net-Zero Neighborhood in the US Being Built in Boulder
A new development in the north of Boulder, CO stands to be the first completely net-zero neighborhood in the US. Dubbed SpringLeaf Boulder, the project aims to bring net-zero homes “to the masses” by streamlining green technologies and driving down costs. The twelve homes are designed for LEED Platinum certification, will be fully powered by photovoltaic systems, and are very close to shops and restaurants, creating a little eco-community within Boulder.
With the SpringLeaf model home already completed and construction the other homes started, this exciting project looks like it will serve as a great example for future communities and neighborhoods. Built according to LEED standards in hopes of achieving Platinum certification, the interior is outfitted with non-toxic paints and furnishings, like recycled countertops and bamboo cabinets. A strong focus was placed on insulation to make the home more efficient, and smart design allowed builders to conserve resources by using less lumber. A geothermal heat pump system works to provide efficient heating and cooling and the entire home is electric, which is powered by the pv system, so there is no natural gas used whatsoever.
Located on Broadway and Poplar Ave in Northern Boulder, the 1.5 acre neighborhood is conveniently located across from a market, shops and restaurants and with easy access via bus to the rest of the city. Six townhomes border Broadway, while six single-family homes sit back behind around a communal park. All the homes will be orientated to the south and photovoltaic systems can installed on the roof, which will completely provide the homes with all the energy they need.
The townhomes will be about 2,800 sq ft, while the largest single family home will be about 4,000 sq ft. The model home was built at a cost of about $300 per square foot, but the developers estimate the rest of the homes will cost $200 per square foot. SpringLeaf Homes was designed by architect, George Watt and is being built by Silver Lining Builders
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