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Allenspark Gallery – Annual Gala

fuentesdesign is excited to be helping the Allenspark community design a renovation/addition to the Old Allenspark Gallery, join us July 21st at the Annual Gala!



fuentesdesign award winning

Two fuentesdesign projects were recently award the “Best Green Residential New Construction” and, with builder/developer Boulder ZED, “Best Green Residential Remodel” at the Boulder Valley Green Building Awards by the Colorado Green Building Guild. Congrats to all involved with these progressive projects!

Brian Fuentes of fuentesdesign and Brian Hludzinski of Boulder ZED take home Boulder Valley Green Building Guild awards for Best Green Residential New Construction and Best Green Residential Remodel. Congrats to all who made these projects possible!



AIA National Convention!

The AIA National Convention is coming to Denver this June.  Below, Brian Fuentes at Charles Deaton’s “Sleeper House”, is helping the AIA in preparations for the upcoming convention – stay tuned for some amazing footage in and around Denver!




Colorado Green Building Guild Awards

We’re excited to share that two fuentesdesign projects have been announced as finalists in the Colorado Green Building Guild Annual Awards – one in the Green Residential New Construction and the second project, assisting Boulder Zed, in the Green Residential Remodel categories.  Winners will be announced at the Boulder County Business Report Earth Conference on June 12th.



Brian Fuentes to Present at Clean Energy Action

From Clean Energy Action: Please join us in hearing Brian Fuentes and Lance Wright, both Certifiied Passive House Consultants, discuss their knowledge of constructing and the cost and energy savings behind high performance buildings. The Passivhaus concept was introduced to America with the establishment of the Passive House Institute, United States (PHIUS) in 2008. It is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that provides training, education and research to promote implementation of Passive House Building Energy standard, as well as the design approach and techniques to accomplish that standard.

“High Performance Buildings”
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
7:00-9:00 pm
Refreshments at 6:30
First Presbyterian Church
1820 15th Street, Boulder, CO 80302



Water for People Dinner

Fuentesdesign is excited to support the Rocky Mountain Section of Water for People in their annual “Everyone Forever Annual Theme Dinner” through a donation of time for their silent auction. Join us here!



CGBG High Performance Building Series

The Colorado Green Building Guild is hosting a four part, “High Performance Building Series” – joined by a number of other Passive House enthusiasts, Brian Fuentes will be presenting on Passive House concepts implemented in fuentesdesign projects.



Chasing Ice

If you haven’t seen Chasing Ice yet,  you should!  The scenery captured by Boulder based photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is not only awe inspiring, but the time-lapse photography of the retreating glaciers proves to be heartbreaking – giving a “visual voice” to the quickly changing ecosystem.  A bit of an emotional roller-coaster, the film is certainly a call to action. Watch the trailer here!

As a call to action, identifies a number of “easy” and “difficult” home upgrades that can reduce the carbon footprint of your home. Recognizing that buildings account for nearly half of our country’s carbon footprint, we’re excited to see such tangible steps highlighted – but what makes us most excited (we prefer this to horrified!) is knowing the magnitude of energy we can save through retrofiting/rebuilding our living spaces with existing technologies (see Passive House building techniques) – if designed and built properly, our buildings can require 10X less energy to heat and cool than the current American average. It’s bold, but it’s what we need to do.




Dec “Do the Math Tour”

Bill McKibben and the “Do the Math Tour” bio-diesel bus recently made a stop in Boulder, Colorado spreading awareness of the math behind climate change, asking those who signed the banner below to remember three numbers:

1) 2 degrees Celsius: The agreed upon change in temperature that we must stay below, at least in the Copenhagen Accord, 2009 in which 167 countries responsible for 87 percent of the world’s carbon signed. Where representatives signing the Accord agreed that, “deep cuts in global emission are required…so as to hold the increase in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius.”
2) 565 Gigatons: The computer simulated amount of carbon our atmosphere can assimilate and still have a “reasonable hope” to stay below 2 degrees Celsius.
3) 2,795 Gigatons: The amount of fossil fuel we are currently planning to burn.

If you missed it, read  Bill McKibben’s recent article in the Rolling Stone magazine here.



fuentesdesign to donate time at Bicycles for Humanity annual fund raising gala.

On November 9th, join us as we support Bicycles for Humanity Colorado at their annual fund raising gala. Come for the auction items, great food, drink and music – or just to support Bicycles for Humanity! To see what Bicycles for Humanity is about, watch a short clip here and then find additional info on the gala here!  Donations are tax deductible so we hope to see you there!!

Details: November 9th 7pm-11pm, Downtown Denver @  Citizen Pictures, 2800 North Speer Boulevard, Denver, CO see map.



Brian Fuentes speaks at dasHaus Conference in Denver.

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest and Colorado Chapter will host a Half-day Conference in Denver on October 18th, 2012 from 9am – 1pm as part of the international dasHAUS exhibition.

Join fellow architects, engineers, green building and solar energy professionals for a series of expert presentations on the latest developments in advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency in buildings. From tracking buildings’ energy performance to the latest programs aimed at expanding net-zero energy design, conference topics will center around a central theme: an exchange of ideas, approaches and know-how between Denver’s industry experts and their German counterparts.

LOCATION: Redline Art Gallery, 2350 Arapahoe Street, Denver CO 80205

TIME: 9am – 1pm on Thursday, October 18th, 10:45 – 11:35
Lance Wright & Brian Fuentes 
of the Colorado Chapter of the Passive House Alliance US: “A history of the German building standard and what it takes to build Passive House in Colorado”




Brian Fuentes to speak at Colorado Green Building Guild Discussion: Building Green Is No Longer Enough, It is Time to Build Resilient!

Green building means paying attention to climate data and local weather patterns in design – but what happens when the data driving the design might change?  

Designing buildings to effectively meet the conditions and realities of a Post Carbon, Climate-Changed world may require a shift in our current understanding of what constitutes good building design and sound building practice. Long term, climate appropriate buildings will require more resilient design than currently reflected in today’s design standards.   

Our conversation will explore what this might mean for buildings truly built for the next 100 years. 

Click here for more info.



Boulder Architect, Brian Fuentes to speak at the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) monthly education and networking meeting.

What: Ultra Low Load and Passive House Buildings: a Path Toward a Renewable Future”

When: Thursday October 25th at 7:00 PM,
Where: Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 West 32nd Avenue Golden, CO.
How: Free for CRES members. Non-members pay $10 beginning in October.
Find additional information on the CRES website.



National Passive House Tour features fuentesdesign homes


Building scientists and Passive House enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Denver for the 2012 National Passive House conference and capped of the week with tours of fuentesdesign homes.

View clips from the tours here:

  • Marshall Plan – Rebuilding an 1890s mining cabin into a state of the art Passive House (VIDEO COMING SOON!)
  • Renew – An urban retrofit renewing a 1950s track home into a cozy but modern adobe home
  • Alpine Passive House  – a prefabricated straw bale mountain home, pursuing Passive House certification
  • Passivista – designed by fuentesdesign, built by Mainstream Corporation
Brian Fuentes and Megan Monroe volunteering at the 2012 National Passive House Conference in Denver, Colorado.



fuentesdesign to present at the International Straw Builders’ Conference

The 2012 International Straw Builders’ Conference is coming to Estes Park, Colorado this September.  Brian Fuentes will present on the Passive House standard and its technical requirements, providing examples of building to this standard in Colorado climate with straw bale and other natural materials. Read more about the conference and Brian’s presentation here.



2013 National AIA Convention is coming to Colorado!

Plus, check out the welcome video including a snippet of Brian Fuentes: here.

“The American Institute of Architects Colorado component (AIA Colorado) is asking you to come, stay and explore our beautiful state during your visit for the AIA 2013 National Convention.”  Find more information here.



Das Haus Tour is coming to Denver!

fuentesdesign is excited to welcome the Das Haus tour, scheduled to be in Denver October 2012.

According to the tour: ‘Das Haus is a traveling pavilion, a North American tour about advanced technologies for home construction and solar energy use. The purpose – to share German innovations that have achieved sustainable construction and operational energy savings. Attendees represent leading organizations and businesses in building materials, architecture, engineering, renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses, universities, and public officials…

The hands on format includes:

  1. An enclosed room built to Passive House standards featuring a relatively thin yet superinsulated envelope, heat recovery ventilation and cooling, and triple–pane windows that optimize solar heat gain while minimizing heat loss. Stepping into the room instantly communicates the superior indoor comfort the Passive House Standard is known for.
  2. Solar energy collection systems which help to power the pavilion, including roof modules featuring state–of–the–art thin film CIS photovoltaics, and solar capturing façade elements which generate power while providing additional insulation benefits.
  3. Exhibitive wall construction systems representing a wide range of insulation techniques and materials designed to resist thermal conductivity, avoid thermal bridging, and maximize year–round indoor comfort.”

Find more information here.

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fuentesdesign Returns from International Passive House Days in France.

It was great to see some passive house projects in action – but like the US, passive house is relatively new to France, with only a handful of projects compared to neighboring countries (esp. Germany and Austria) where energy costs are higher. Considering this context, it was interesting to hear stories of struggles to get the builder to understand the air sealing details,  finding affordable materials, getting financing, and getting projects approved through local building and zoning codes.

Below, a passive house on the outskirts of Paris, France.