Gallery: GEOS: The First Fossil Fuel Free Community in The USA!

Geos Net-Zero Community in Colorado

The United States’ first net-zero community is coming soon to Arvada Colorado! Dubbed Geos, the development will employ a sterling roster of alternative energy strategies to cut its consumption fossil fuels and become completely self-sustainable. Lately we’ve seen a slew of similar communities springing up around the world, from Canada to India to Estonia and we couldn’t be happier, since it’s future-forward communities such as these that are paving the pathway to a brighter future.

Geos is an innovative net-zero community that will harness energy from the Earth and the Sun to completely eliminate its consumption of fossil fuels. The community will be situated on an area of 25 acres, bordered on the West by the Croke Canal, and on the South by Ralston Creek. It will comprise 250 planned homes ranging from 850 to 3500+ square feet, and four distinct neighborhoods: Entry mixed-Use, Beachfront mixed-use, Garden Community and Checkerboard Blocks. The community will be interlaced with a network of plazas, parks, and trails, and will connect a diverse community of people and lifestyles.

The community plans to employ both active and passive solar energy collection measures to meet daytime heating and electrical energy needs. Homes will be constructed to maximize solar gain and will feature checkerboard placements for complete access to sunlight, east-to-west floorplans to maximize exposure to the Sun, strategic placement of doors and windows, and scientifically engineered awnings. Rooftops will be outfitted with photovoltaic solar panels that will send their excess power to the grid for storage.

For days when the sun doesn’t shine, geothermal energy will be used to meet the energy needs of the community. An underground geothermal exchange system will utilize the Earth’s energy to provide hot water and heating during Winters, while helping to cool buildings during the Summer.

An energy monitoring system will inform Geos homeowners of their energy usage. With this excellent array of features Geos is set to create a remarkable precedent for living an entirely self-sustainable lifestyle.

Designed by Michael Tavel Architects and David Kahn Studio, the community has been conferred the 2006 Colorado AIA Citation Award, the 2006 Denver AIA Honor Award, and the 2006 Denver AIA Sustainability Award. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the fall of 2008, and first homes will be ready by the 2nd quarter of 2009.

+ Geos

+ Michael Tavel Architects

+ David Kahn Studio

Via Jetson Green


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  1. lizbeth January 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    if anyone is thinking about purchasing a solar home in the Geos Community (or anywhere), maybe you should consider an electric vehicle to drive the four miles to the bus stop. Contact to convert your gas vehicle to electric. It’s a great form of recycling!

  2. Scott72 August 11, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Google Maps indicates that this development is way out in the western edge of the Denver Metro area — and like others pointed out, I don’t see integrated land for growing food. Water is also an issue. This is not a sustainable community.

  3. booboc August 8, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    It looks like there is quite a bit of grassed park land which will require fossil fuel to maintain and no provision for growing food. Why not use the open land for food gardens, maybe along the lines of the UK’s garden allotments or a community Permaculture garden? Perhaps there are plans for shops and restaurants in those large industrial/commercial looking buildings that appear to be part of the plan. If so, they look to have plenty of parking places but no direct walking access from the residential areas.

  4. Hugo_vogel August 8, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Jenny Solar systems, Oberburg, Switzerland built recently a 3 store building with 6 apartements. A central cylindrical water store tank of 200 m3 is heated by thermal solar paneels and succesfully suplies all the needed heat energy during winter and also the hot water for sanitary use.

  5. jeanX August 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    I am glad that you included Colorado, instead of sf, where it’s always Springtime,
    but how about including some feasible urban neighborhoods,
    where it gets really cold?
    How about ‘do-overs’ on already existing homes?

  6. kybrdplyr August 8, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Sometimes I think the information on this site has been cribbed from a publicist’s notes from the developers. “..future-forward communities such as these that are paving the pathway to a brighter future”? patrickmc has looked more dispassionately at Geos and addressed a major issue confronting such developments. There is NO WAY this is a “fossil fuel free community” if the nearest rail station is over four miles away and the nearest store 3/4 of a mile away. Yes, some people may walk or ride that distance to do their grocery shopping but it is not practical on the very hot or very cold days that are part of the year ’round conditions. So, let’s see some REAL “fossil free” communities that are, indeed, transit served as well as having great utility infrastructure.

  7. patrickmc August 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    While some aspects of the project may be sustainable, the transportation aspect is anything but. The site is not actually on a bus route and the closest 2 routes (each 1 mile away) are served by 20 buses per day, with peak hour service only and no service between 7:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The closest rail station (planned to open in 2016) is over 4 miles away on auto-centric suburban streets. There’s some mixed use planned for the site, but nothing the size of a grocery store (current closest one is 3/4 of a mile away). The current WalkScore rating is 25, clearly it would improve but a green home in the boonies is unlikely to be as green as an average home in a walkable, transit-served urban area unless it has great transit access (and this doesn’t and won’t).

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