Vail Valley Voices: Vail’s green future |

Vail Valley Voices: Vail’s green future

Vail Homeowners Association
Vail, CO Colorado

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report in May. We plan to publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside the town. The newsletter’s electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at

The town of Vail continues its effort to expand its environmental sustainability efforts. It is studying methods to require green building technology through its building codes. These code changes could have significant impact on larger projects. There are those who believe that long-term projects, such as Ever Vail, which are not expected to begin construction any time soon, should be held to the highest zero carbon emissions standard, rather than the more commonly accepted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. They say that if Vail’s branding is to be strengthened with younger generations, it needs to be more closely aligned with the emerging values of green technology consumers.

Vail builders worry that onerous green regulations will drive up construction costs, which will push real estate investors out of the Vail market. Also, developers are concerned with the town’s move to adopt legislation to “standardize” the “exactions” (special requirements which can be financial and/or technological) it can impose on new development projects.

Embracing the tide of technological innovation in hard times: The evolution of green and cutting-edge building technology is rapidly advancing as evidenced by futuristic examples of advanced materials, computer communications and energy conservation technologies designed for residential and commercial applications.

Similar proposals are being suggested for automobile technology, like converting the rental car fleet at the Eagle airport to all electric vehicles. The limited range of all electric vehicles is compatible with the short travel distances between the airport and surrounding resort destinations. However, Vail’s parking structures, public or private, are not as yet set up with ubiquitous recharging ports.

The town of Vail is beginning to consider energy conversion projects on a limited basis, like 15-year payback conversion to LED lighting in its parking structures.

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