Silverton slide grazes couple |

Silverton slide grazes couple

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

SILVERTON, Colorado ” Some people are in the right place at the right time. The inverse can also be true.

Such was nearly the case with Dr. Bob Brokering and his wife, Terri, who own the Eureka Lodge, located eight miles from Silverton and which caters to ice climbers, backcountry skiers, and snowmobilers.

It was about midnight, and the couple had started to hike from their parked car to the lodge. The route crosses the bottom of an avalanche path.

The Brokerings tell the Silverton Standard that they had started walking across the path when they heard a roar. Looking up, they could see a snow cloud. They tried to flee, but only partly succeeded.

Bob was pushed over by the wind that precedes major avalanches, and then knocked over by the debris, although not covered. Luckily for the couple, though, they were only on the edge of the slide, and Bob was not covered.

“Five minutes earlier, we would have been in the middle of that (avalanche) field,” Brokering told the Standard. It was, he said, a more personal experience with avalanches than he had wanted.

TELLURIDE, Colorado ” Certification by LEED ” as in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ” was expanded last year to include single-family homes.

Before, it had been limited to offices, schools, and other public buildings, but also to residential complexes, such as a base village at California’s Northstar ski area and an restaurant on Aspen mountain.

Only three homes have been certified in Colorado under the new program, and the first one on the Western Slope, where nearly all the ski areas are located, is at Telluride. The home has a silver rating, which is the second highest of four categories.

The home has a deck made of mahogany wood certified as sustainability harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council. It has blown-foam insulation, reducing heat loss, and most appliances are Energy Star-rated for efficiency.

Yet LEED is still not-quite mainstream, even in places like Telluride, where the lowest single-family home sold last year fetched nearly $1.1 million.

“LEED is a great idea,” said Ben Humphrey of One Architects, “but the weakest link is the subcontractors and the contractors. It comes down to communication with the contractors and their excitement about being part of the green-building movement.”

Tackling the same subject, a magazine called Ski Area Management found that experts discount the notion that “green” buildings are more expensive. A LEED-certified building designed to minimize its environmental impact should only cost about 3 percent than more than other buildings, building experts said. What is undeniable is that “green” homes cost less in following years, because of generally improved energy efficiency.

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