New Video – YERTpod16: Energy Sipping Homes in Colorado

Hi, YERTians!

(YERT is now available on, YouTube, and Veoh. You can even download YERT to your video iPod with iTunes! You can also subscribe to YERT on any of those video services for automagic delivery to your inbox. And… stay tuned for more outlets, or suggest one to us. We’re all ears—though not of corn.)

It seemed that everybody in Colorado had something to say about green building, so we decided to capture the wise words of some wizards in the field and share them with you. Many thanks to Stu Galvis in Boulder for assembling our green building panel and delightfully endless eco-site tours!

No sooner had we driven up to Boulder, Colorado, than we were whisked off to a multitude of green building activities prepared by our friend Stu. We toured ecologically innovative condos, new homes, renewed homes, and then checked out the nifty systems that helped them get near or better than “zero energy.” In other words, you get all the comfort without the carbon! We found sunlight piped into dark corners, cool air piped from underground, and super-solar-heated water piped into a carbon-neutral Jacuzzi!

You may think that all of these eco-features cost an eco-fortune. Well, in some cases you’re right. Fortunately, however, the best low-carbon features are perhaps the least expensive: drapes, sweaters, and small residences will keep your bills low while we all wait for the more advanced greening features to trickle down from the rich to the less-rich. Ben Apple, from GEOS, took a few minutes to explain his middle-income housing complex that makes traditionally expensive green features affordable to the masses. Stu also showed us a charming new eco-residence for those at the lower end of the buyer scale. And we expect the prices to keep on dropping, and interest levels rising, and the knowledge about all this growing.

We thought we knew plenty about green building, then we met the wizards.


Ben, Julie, and Mark (Your YERT Team)

(Please send e-mails to instead of

P.S. We could fill a book with the breadcrumbs from our visit to Colorado, but read on for the essential extras…

  • What’s the bottom line on green homes? If you enter one you’ll find that they smell good, feel good, look good, and are good for the planet. It is difficult to put poetic words to “better insulation,” “sun warmed,” “energy independent,” and “minimal toxic smells,” so YERT encourages you to visit a green home in your area. Meet the owners or builders and they’ll often be happy to show you around and help you start on your way to make your home green, too. Stu sent an interesting fact my way that sums it up nicely: A recent Green Home Buyer survey indicated that 85 percent of green homeowners say “they are much more satisfied with their new green homes than with their previous, traditionally built homes.”
  • Want to go further? You can find the mother lode of green building resources at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s “Buildings and Land” resource page: . Also, size matters when it comes to home energy costs. Read about "McMansions" and other not-so-eco homes on AlterNet here. Then re-think that new guest room addition.
  • And finally, here are the faces you’ll see in the video, including all of the “Wizards” from our green building round table:
    • Stu Galvis is the Chief Visionary and a Realtor for Boulder Green Properties, and from what we saw during our visit he is taking charge of the eco-building scene. Stu is helping the entire community of Boulder to understand the benefits and sheer importance of building green—everywhere. All the time. Even for visitors like YERT.
    • Eric Peltier is the owner of Dovetail Lending. His company’s website notes that they’re “Colorado’s First Sustainable Mortgage Broker,” and we like what he’s up to. Wind powered and locally owned, Eric understands the unique value of environmentally sustainable houses and incorporates that knowledge into his business transactions.
    • Norbert Klebl is the founder of GEOS, working with Ben Apple to develop an affordable and sustainable housing development. Norbert also filled the room with wisdom rooted in his European upbringing, and we were heavily tempted to skip a few states to jump overseas to learn more. But we didn’t. Norbert will do for now.
    • Ben Apple, Principal of ActNeutral, LLC, has been instrumental in the development of the GEOS project. Once finished, GEOS will be the first and largest net-zero energy housing community in the United States. Geothermal heating, solar panels, and powerful common sense come standard with every home. (To view the full slide show from GEOS used in our video, click here.)
    • Pete Chandler is the President of Living Space, guiding homeowners and consumers through the growing array of green furnishing and remodeling options on the market, to ultimately create healthy habitats. He also specializes in minimizing toxicity in the home—there are more toxic surprises in your home than you probably realize.
    • Eric Doub is the President of Ecofutures Building, Inc., and he built a net-zero home to demonstrate a variety of quality energy-saving features that you can build into an otherwise conventional home. His home is the highest energy-star rated home to-date in Colorado. Way to go, Eric!
    • Rick Felton and Rob Jenkins are co-owners of SIPCON, and they have developed a structurally insulated panel (SIP) that is uniquely sandwiched between concrete for better thermal and structural properties. These things generally go where your board and fiberglass walls would ordinarily sit. Think warmer, stronger, cheaper homes. (These guys weren’t on the green building "wizard" panel, but not because they didn’t have the skills! They’re making magic in the green building industry, too.)


2 thoughts on “New Video – YERTpod16: Energy Sipping Homes in Colorado

  1. great job as always you guys! you guys can’t look so good and expect people to believe you are traveling and trying to eat all healthy and not throw away so much trash!and you keep being so ridiculously talented and funny and intelligent. you guys are supposed to look like you are tired or something…sheez… 😉 – Ryan (“Within Reach”)

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