Design firm builds ‘healthy home’ in Aspen |

Design firm builds ‘healthy home’ in Aspen

Eben Harrell/Aspen Times Staff Writer

A new design firm has built what it calls Aspen’s first “healthy home.”

Devi Development was founded by two Aspen women who say they are committed to principles of environmentally friendly construction and enlightened design.

“We wanted to take the green movement and update it to the chic, cutting edge of this century,” said Nancy Spears, co-founder of Devi Development, which is named for the Hindu goddess of creation.

The remodeled house, located on the corner of Sixth and Bleeker streets, is the firm’s first project. Due to preservation requirements, the exterior design for the 110-year-old structure was preserved, but the interior was completely remodeled.

The result is a “Zen-Victorian” design, according to Devi Development officials.

The price for Devi’s first healthy house isn’t cheap – it’s listed at nearly $3.7 million – but Devi co-founder Michelle Pauline Lowe said that many concerned citizens are willing to pay the price to embrace the design principles.

“There are so many people here concerned with issues such as health, beauty and the environment,” Lowe said. “Hopefully this house strikes an appealing balance between luxury living and environmentally friendly principles.”

In keeping with the firm’s principles, the house was constructed using nontoxic materials with sustainable building practices in mind.

Recycled glass, recycled steel and natural stone were used wherever possible, and waste materials from the project were recycled into other construction projects.

“We did everything we could to conserve materials,” said Darin Rienkin, the project’s general contractor. “Often, that meant thinking creatively. For example, it’s a regulation that during construction wood chips be placed around trees to protect their roots. We used the wood from the existing floor that we gutted.”

Other excess materials were shipped to the Colorado Resource Management Center, a Carbondale-based firm that provides construction resources to projects around the state.

The developers implemented green principles wherever possible in the Aspen home, including two solar panels on the roof and the use of prolific, fast-growing woods, such as bamboo, to assuage deforestation concerns.

The house’s interior design also embodies Devi’s healthy living principles, all the way down to the natural-fiber carpets and hemp washcloths.

Valley artists were contracted to provide artifacts for the house that embody a holistic dwelling concept. Local feng shui and vatsu experts were consulted before construction began, and last spring visiting Tibetan monks blessed the site.

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