Vail Valley: Concept 4012 provides innovative, sustainable construction ideas |

Vail Valley: Concept 4012 provides innovative, sustainable construction ideas

Don Berger
Vail, CO, Colorado
Balz and Christina Arrigoni of Arrigoni Woods have created a new company, Concept 4012. That company can create both framing and siding for homes using recycled European wood.

Balz and Christina Arrigoni, owners of the Vail Valley business Arrigoni Woods, were not content on supplying only eco-friendly European flooring for Vail Valley homes. They have now branched out to provide, literally, the entire home.

The couple recently opened Concept 4012, a company that brings the expertise of European alpine builders to local homeowners.

Perhaps the only company of its kind in the country, Concept 4012 offers homebuilders the opportunity to have the major components of their home made in the alpine regions of Balz’s native Switzerland or Christina’s native Austria from timbers derived from sources including recycled, centuries-old mountain barns, factories and other structures as well as newer wood from sustainable forests.

The newer wood undergoes a patented burning process coupled with non-toxic finishes that ensure its endurance.

The entire process begins in Vail and can be of virtually any size with designs from simple to complex. After the owner and architect design a home, the plans are shipped to mountain factories in Austria or Switzerland where the framing and siding are completed in sections. Little is wasted in the cutting the frames, and any leftovers can easily be recycled.

All the components are then shipped to the valley via ships and trains and constructed on an already-built foundation in a fraction of the time it would take to build a home in the traditional manner. A Swiss or Austrian expert familiar with the process is flown from Europe to oversee the construction, which is done with a local contractor and crew. (The cost of the European personnel is included in the bid.)

These homes are perhaps the ultimate in sustainability, said Balz, a former ski racer. Not only does the wood come from sustainable sources (for example, no clear cutting of forests is involved, just that of old growth making way for new growth), but the processing of the wood is done indoors in environmentally designed and controlled factories that meet the stringent standards of Switzerland and Austria.

But that’s only the start of how such homes are “greening” the industry. Once built, the day-to-day environmental virtues of these homes – six of which have been or are being built in the valley – are readily evident.

For example, like the processing procedures at the factories, very little waste is created during construction. In fact, during the recent construction of an 8,000 square foot East Vail home, the trash container was completely filled only twice, and that was with mostly roof eves’ clippings that can be recycled.

More important for the homeowner, each home “breathes.” In part, that is because an air pocket between the wood siding and the interior walls enables the exterior siding wood to dry from both the outside and inside when wet. Wood that stays wet eventually rots, but this drying process eliminates both the possibility of rotting and also allows the exterior siding to remain maintenance-free. The aged European wood finish exterior will look the same 80 years from now as it does today.

Another major byproduct of this insulation system is that less energy is required.

Finally, there is time efficiency. The current East Vail project was up and completely enclosed in just three weeks. This speed translates into a significant cost savings. In fact, this home had a similar cost as a traditionally built framed structure that would take months to reach the same point in construction.

Balz said that people unfamiliar with these homes tend to label them as “pre-fab,” which, to many, infers inferior quality. But these homes use the finest materials and the latest environmental technologies.

These homes can also be built to satisfy virtually any demand by an architect and homeowner. Virtually any size home can be built, and designs range from rustic to contemporary. Commercial structures can also be built using the Concept 4012 system.

For more information about Concept 4012, call 970-479-1800 or go to

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