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Luxurious Breck home aims for zero net energy consumption

Robert Allen
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Robert AllenThis 8,000 square foot home at Timber Trail subdivision in Breckenridge is to incorporate geothermal and solar energy with several other components to be completely energy efficient.
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BRECKENRIDGE – An 8,000 square foot castle of a home near ski slopes in the Timber Trail subdivision is anticipated to create an energy footprint of zero.

Twelve companies comprise a team working to make the home extremely efficient, taking energy from underground as well as the sun to provide power.

High-density foam insulation, engineered wood and innovative lighting controls contribute to efficiencies at a home in the same neighborhood as the one that last December broke the Summit County sale record at $8.29 million.

The price on the intended net zero home has not been released; construction is to be complete by the end of August.

The four-year project has involved two years of design and two more of construction.

John Rath is an owner of Trilogy Partners, the company leading design and construction management on the project. He said that now that the team behind the home has worked together, more highly-efficient homes can be expected from the company.

“Since we’re able to determine how to achieve these goals, the learning curve is reduced dramatically,” he said.

And while there’s no guarantee the home will be net zero when its utilities are fired up, he said there’s “a lot of latitude with the equipment” to make adjustments.

The home is to include 43 SolarWorld, 230-watt solar photovoltaic panels to generate about 10 kilowatts of energy. Underground, a geothermal exchange system includes 19 boreholes that are 300 feet deep to transfer subterranean temperatures of 50 to 55 Fahrenheit into a system to heat or cool the home.

Contractors on the team are all local. Representatives of SolSource, Major Heating and Geothermal and others spoke Saturday at a seminar in the home to explain its efficiencies before the drywall is hung Monday. The house at 238 Timber Trail Road is open for visitors today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A representative with Electronics By Design said Saturday that the Vantage home automation system will control everything from lights and shades to the thermostat over the Internet – as well as through keypads and touch-screens in the home.

Motion-sensing occupancy detectors in the ceiling and walls are to determine when a person is in a room and activate lights as programmed.

In the morning, light sensors may be programmed to close shades as sunlight enters.

The keypads can adjust for a variety of occasions and can be set, for example, to “movie” to reduce the lights to 25 percent power.

The home’s refrigerator and freezer are to be Sun Frost, which are the most energy efficient in the world, according to http://www.sunfrost.com.

The residence is to include six bedrooms, three of which are considered master bedrooms. Features such as windows from master bathrooms to view fireplaces and televisions while showering make for a unique convenience.

The residence includes nine bathrooms – all with low-flow toilets.

Carolyn Gash, interior designer with Trilogy Partners, said the home’s interior, while similar to a castle, is to be “light and airy.”

She said that the same type of stone lining the exterior of the home will also line much of the interior, but with “good guts” such as efficient insulation foam in between. A spiral staircase reaching 30 feet spanning three levels is to be accented by stone walls as well.

Gash said many of the products in the home were selected as being in proximity to Summit County – intended to cut down on energy wasted through transporting stuff from overseas. Much of the stone comes from Mexico.

A walkway between the top floor office and master bedroom is to appear like a suspended drawbridge.

“We’ve had some fun,” Gash said of the designs.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.


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