Aspen home earns LEED Silver honor from council |

Aspen home earns LEED Silver honor from council

ASPEN — A Minturn-based firm played a key role in a custom home in Aspen earning the Silver level of LEED for Homes certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. The home is among only a handful of other local projects to reach this distinction.

The residence was designed by Charles Cunniffe Architects and constructed by Structural Associates. Active Energies of Minturn provided LEED for Homes verification services and installed the solar panels on the home. This home has joined the ranks of three other Aspen homes to receive this level of green building success. The certification includes on-site verification of green building techniques and strategies, testing the building systems and envelope and documentation of key building features.

Luxury and Sustainability

The home is heated with ground-source heat pumps and uses a field of nearly 60 kW of solar photovoltaic panels to offset electrical needs. The building envelope includes above-code insulation and windows and underwent testing to ensure it had limited pathways for air to leak in from outside. The home was honored through the LEED program for using significantly less energy and materials and creating less waste than a standard construction home.

“This project is unique in that it combines true luxury with true sustainability. It was an inspiring process with wonderful clients who wished to achieve LEED Silver status, while affording their family a spacious, well appointed, legacy home for multiple generations to come,” said Charles Cunniffe, principal of the firm Charles Cunniffe Architects.

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Megan Gilman, president of Active Energies, said building green can pay back much easier than many may think.

“We have seen great benefits for projects undergoing the third-party verification and testing required for LEED for Homes,” Gilman said. “Especially with high end homes, there can be a lot of activity going on and an extra set of eyes to look at duct sealing, insulation and detailing can provide great benefits for homeowners well above the cost of these services.

“The main concept of building greener homes is to reduce long-term operational costs on energy and water and to ensure a comfortable, safe and durable structure, all of which work for the best interest of the homeowner,” Gilman added.

Active Energies provides energy consulting and testing services, as well as design and installation of photovoltaic solar panels. The company works throughout the mountain region and has worked on projects in nine other countries. For more information about Active Energies, call 970-306-4233 or email

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