The Sopris Sun – Collaboration Advances Green Building Locally

Spearheaded by the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Roaring Fork Valley is sprinting in the race to zero emissions with the help of international, federal, state, local and individual participation. Global emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 and be at net zero by 2050 to reach the science-based target. Therefore, governments and businesses are collaborating to implement, innovate and incentivize green building practices.

Amanda Poindexter is a green energy consultant for the town of Basalt. She said buildings are huge emitters, contributing up to 60% of greenhouse gas emissions in Basalt — residential at 28% and commercial at 32%. Building ordinances now require new developments and remodels to prepare for an all-electric future.

Poindexter said Basalt’s ordinance “includes having electrical receptacles where your stove is or where your dryer is, to be able to switch the units if you would like to go electric in the future. Conduits and an EV charger must also be available in your garage, enabling this all-electric switch to be seamless.”

With increasingly warmer summers predicted, Roaring Fork Valley residences are installing heat pumps, an alternative to air conditioning units, and assuring buildings have tight air-sealing and are not leaking heat or coolness. Heat pumps can be retrofitted to work with existing ducts for forced air furnaces or can be a ductless addition to boiler systems, using the boiler as a backup.

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The Sopris Sun

Elizabeth Key