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Building Innovation for Homeownership
Award Winner: Colorado

PROJECT NAME: Tamarack Point, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

SUBMITTER: Mark Palmer, Habitat Design & Construction Co., Steamboat Springs, CO

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Tamarack Point is a neighborhood of 29 single-family detached homes in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a ski resort town in need of entry-level homes. The three-bedroom homes range from 1,100 to 1,500 square-feet and sold for $128,000 to $175,000, about 79 percent of area median. Twenty-two homes were pre-sold within ten days of city approval and all were sold before completion, mostly to local residents who had previously been unable to afford homes in Steamboat Springs. Mass- production "tract" procedures, rarely used in this area, and economies of scale played a significant role in lowering costs in Tamarack Point. A "planned unit development" (PUD) designation allowed some lots below the normal 6,000 square-feet size and reduced set-backs from the street and between homes. City staff assisted developers to plan a 40-foot right-of- way for the loop road through the development rather than the standard 60-foot. These deviations left room for a small central park. Xeriscape native landscaping appears throughout the neighborhood.

Tamarack Point was recognized as Colorado's First "E-Star Green Subdivision" by the Colorado Office of Energy Conservation. The Green Program requires a mix of criteria regarding such as site design and impact, thermal envelopes, mechanical systems, indoor-air quality, water heating, appliances, lighting, structural framing, foundations, insulation, and water use.The homes combine passive solar architecture, super-insulation, gasketed air-tight drywall, heat-recovery ventilation, sealed combustion heating appliances, high-efficiency lighting, water-efficient fixtures, "no-VOC" paints, and remanufactured and recycled building products to produce a healthy, resource-efficient home. Heating costs of less than $300 per year are guaranteed or the builder will pay the difference, not typical in Steamboat Springs with a year-round average temperature of 38.9 degrees F and 9,523 heating degree-days per year.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Michael L. Roberts, president, Habitat Design & Construction Co., Steamboat Springs, Colorado (builder); Mark Palmer, Director of Energy Services, Habitat Design & Construction Co. (energy design); Jon Peddie, principal, Hunter's Glen (developer); Rob Dick, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (developer).


PROJECT: High Meadows, Florence, Colorado

SUBMITTER: Craig White, High Meadows Development Company, Denver, Colorado

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: A large development of 158 homes, High Ridge has an innovative mixture of manufactured housing and site-built homes side-by-side, essentially undistinguishable. The manufactured housing units are put on permanent concrete foundations, which allows them to be financed with conventional real estate mortgages. Manufactured housing saved between 15% and 20% over conventional stick-built construction. With site-built add-ons such as garages, decks, and porches, they appear as stick-built construction. The site-built units also feature garages and porches similar to the manufactured housing. The 2x6 construction boosts energy performance, with R-22 walls and R-38 ceilings. Offered for an average of $104,000, houses at High Meadows are approximately .74 of the median for new home construction. There is a 5% down mortgage program, while a few of the homes qualify for 3% down mortgages under a special Rural Housing program.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: High Meadows Development Co., LLC, Craig White (chief managing member), Roderick Knoll (managing member); American Homestar Corp. (principal product producer).


PROJECT: LongView, Longmont, Colorado

SUBMITTER: John C. Fernie, McStain Enterprises, Boulder, Colorado

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: LongView is a 400-home land-lease residential community that provides first-time homebuyers with affordable, manufactured homes. Prices for these 1,450- square-foot homes are between $58,900 and $75,000, compared to median prices in Longmont of $139,900 for a single-family detached house. With land-lease and a 5% down mortgage, the monthly payment is less than $800. The land-lease arrangement enables the community to have on-site management and amenities such as a community lodge and parks. The land is offered through a �lifetime� lease that the homebuyer renews annually for as long as they choose to live at LongView. The 80-acre community is planned around a community center with nature walks, green areas, and water courses. The houses themselves are HUD-code construction by Fleetwood Enterprises, a nationally reputable housing manufacturer. The houses are delivered to the site and then anchored to a raft slab foundation. Site-built garages and decks are added to the manufactured houses to give them a stick-built appearance. The houses also incorporate energy-efficient features such as 2x6 framing with R-22/19/37 in floors/walls/ceilings. The first 88 homes are now complete, with the entire 400-home development scheduled for completion in 1999.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: McStain Enterprises, Inc., John C. Fernie, Special Projects, Boulder, Colorado (developer); Fleetwood Enterprises (housing manufacturer); ROC Communities; Don Westphal, planner.


PROJECT: Greenlee Park at Indian Peaks, Lafayette, Colorado

SUBMITTER: Stephen Hanson, McStain Enterprises, Boulder, Colorado PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Described as an �environmental community,� Greenlee Park is a residential community of 168 units, including 35 detached single-family houses, 44 duplex units, and 89 townhomes. The density on the 22-acre site is 7.5 units per acre, allowing ample open space to be preserved and using natural vegetation as buffers between the units and the surrounding development. Open spaces are connected by pedestrian pathways. The average price home in Greenlee Park is $139,070, 70% of the median in Boulder County. This for-profit development uses no subsidies. The houses are designed with several �sustainable� or �green� features such as engineered wood structural elements, finger-jointed studs, recycled materials such as oriented strand board sheathing, recycled content hardboard siding, recycled wood and plastic decking, low VOC paints, recycled content carpeting, recycled cellulose insulation, and compact fluorescent lights. Energy conservation features include low-e argon-filled glass, and a heat recovery system that captures heat from the domestic hot water heater, which allows homes to be heated without furnaces.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: McStain Enterprises (developer and builder).


PROJECT: Harmony Village

SUBMITTER: James W. Leach, President, Wonderland Hill Development Co., Boulder, CO

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Harmony Village is a co-housing development in Golden, CO, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains west of Denver. CoHousing is a Scandinavian inspired, resident planned, sustainable community with individually owned homes and common facilities. Resident objectives for Harmony Village include creating a community that is economical to build and to maintain, living in the most environmentally-sensitive way possible, balancing the need for individual privacy with the benefits of community living, and encouraging diversity in age, familial status, income, and ethnicity. They participated in planning the development and provided much of the equity financing. Located on 5.5 wooded acres, the "village" includes 27 homes clustered around small courtyards and the common house with a kitchen/dining area for shared meals, and space for child care, teenage activities, common storage, laundry facilities, workshops, and guest rooms. Pedestrian pathways link the village; access roads and parking line the periphery. About half of the area is reserved as open space. The low-maintenance southwestern "pueblo" style one- to four-bedroom homes range from $80,000 to $200,000, including a share in the common house.

Harmony Village homes feature energy efficient and resource conserving designs and construction to provide lowered operating and maintenance costs. All homes are sited for maximum solar exposure, plumbed for future solar hot water. The homes qualify for energy-saving mortgages.

PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: James W. Leach, President, Wonderland Hill Development Company, Boulder, CO; Matt Worswick, Synergy Design, Denver, CO (project architect)


Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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