“I don’t think we cared about sustainability but that’s one thing that’s remarkable about Brian. He’s very passionate about this and very infectious. He told us from the get-go that was what he was going to incorporate in his designs….the fact that this home produces more energy than it consumes is amazing….and I don’t believe there was a huge additional cost, it’s just simply thinking about the way things are constructed differently.” ELDER.
“Quality is worth the wait. That’s the reason Dan and Pam Harvey did their homework when they found themselves in a position to build a house from scratch. Like any good astrophysicist and neuroscientist, respectively, they delighted in details as they began combing through Boulder’s talented cache of architects. But their criteria stretched beyond someone who could design a zero energy house; they wanted someone who would also put heart and soul into a space intended to last hundreds of years. Young but experienced in sustainable design, Brian Fuentes got on their radar. “We thought since he was younger, he’d put more effort into the project,” says Dan, “That proved to be true.” A prime example was the afternoon the skies opened up, dumping rain on Dan and Pam’s newly poured foundation and metal decking. There was Brian, getting soaked as he pushed excess water off the foundation with a broom.”- Dan and Pam 100 YR House
(MODERN IN DENVER.COM, FALL 2013, BY ELEANOR PERRY-SMITH)
“We had an incredible experience with fuentesdesign. When we first met with Brian he explained the Design Build process and passive house model to us and we were sold. Meeting with Brian, Megan and Steven during the design phase was totally stress free, fun, casual, yet very productive. Brian was witty, skillful, and intelligent in handling our random requests and understanding our style while still staying true to what it takes to build a very beautiful and extremely energy efficient home. During the demo and remodel phase we had almost daily contact with Steven who handled the all of the contracting and overall project management. If you want someone to get a mind boggling amount of stuff done with ease and stress-free grace this is the man. I was continually amazed at how many details one person can juggle without ever dropping a single thing while maintaining a saintly calm. He’s not just an superior project manager/contractor, he has an eye for design and the same know-how as the best home builders. I’m not blowing smoke. These guys are the real deal.” (Perry, Wonderland)
“We love it. Its just so awesome. This morning, like many mornings, we were admiring the view through our great windows, but also the way the light hits the walls and shadows it creates. So sweet. Also – we haven’t turned on the heat yet. usually just burn one fire a day – either for a few hours in the am, or pm. I’m sure we’ll make it through the coldest weeks of the year no problem – especially with the upstairs fireplace as the back up. [Friends] provided us with beetle kill pine – which I cut with my husqvarna then split. [My daughter] loves helping make fires. Whats even better – she knows that our heat source is the wood and the sun. It’s right there. Not some abstract electrical plant. She actually understands it.” -Mike, Renew
“Every time we walk into our house and look out the huge windows, we are reminded how glad we are that we chose Fuentes Design for our remodel. It was a pleasure to work with Brian on the design and plans. We went through a number of iterations and Brian was always amenable to try our overambitious and sometimes wacky ideas. Once we started construction, Steven did a great job getting the project built all within our limited (for Boulder) budget and within schedule (We moved in exactly on the day scheduled nearly seven months earlier!). Sure, we had our fair share of hiccups including floods [Boulder’s 100-year flood event] and subcontractor problems, but they were all resolved professionally and promptly. The best part of the project was the value. Because of the design-build process, the construction management approach, and Steven’s tireless work, we were able to get a very high quality, energy-efficient product. We love our new house!” -DN and CN
“We love every moment we spend in the addition Fuentes Design created for us–it is perfectly scaled to our family and our lifestyle. Brian’s a talented architect: he’s got a wonderful sense of light and space and is incredibly knowledgable about green design and contemporary materials. Equally important, he approaches his clients with kindness and respect; he was cooperative and flexible about both aesthetics and budgets, and he responded thoughtfully and quickly to our feedback. He was a pleasure to work with.” – Hannah, South Boulder
“The design process with Brian was incredibly smooth. We love his positive, breezy attitude. He is there for you when you have questions, and is very responsive to every need and want. His passivhaus and green building knowledge is superb, and we took advantage of that in our remodel of an existing home. Brian took our very challenging remodel and transformed a dowdy house into one that stops traffic. His attitude made a project that could have been difficult actually fun to do. We loved working with him and would do it again.” -Deb and Ron, Wash Park
“Brian Fuentes of Fuentes Design shared the design with Rocky Mountain Institute of our “Net Zero Impact” house built in 2006-2007 at 815 North St. in Boulder. Brian was also very involved in supervising construction and problem solving as we went along in the “intuitive” design-construction method described by Christopher Alexander. Brian is a talented designer and always a joy to work with which is saying a lot in the often stressful home building process. I found it very rewarding, instructive and invigorating to work with Brian. The program was ambitious in every respect: limited budget, demanding environmental goals, time constraints, impractical, overbearing owner etc. Yet the building was built for less than other homes around us and before son #2 was born…well just by a few days but still before. Our house continues to be a great source of happiness to us and to fit our needs well. And with no utility bill, no air conditioner, no furnace! We owe so much to Brian and I would be happy to talk to anyone who is considering employing him and his firm.” – David, Net Zero Impact
“Brian Fuentes and his team of remarkably architects & engineers completely redesigned and re-built our 1970’s vintage-cool home in our north Boulder lakeside community. The house started its journey as a drafty, energy-hogging, odd place with over 11 levels. The Fuentes team oversaw everything, including the deconstruction using sustainable practices, and rebuilt it to the lovely 3-level NetZero home it is today. They are wonderful to work with, and the result is stunning. We recommend them to everyone we know considering an energy-wise remodel.” Joanne, Lakehouse
“Brian has been, and continues to be, an integral and dedicated member of our straw bale building community and our association [the Colorado Straw Bale Association (COSBA)] since its inception over a decade ago….he is a genuine bright star in the field and within the straw building community.” -Mark, Crestview, former Executive Director of the Colorado Straw Bale Association (COSBA) (2002-2007), Board Member (2007-present), straw bale home owner, and a former client of Architect Brian Fuentes
“As a senior HERS Rater working Colorado’s Front Range, I have been involved with inspecting and testing hundreds of “high performance” residential dwellings… from my perspective, the [Sunshine Project] is categorically different than other buildings I have worked on. It has far exceeded my expectations of both design and execution in buildings. I would describe the [Sunshine Project] as a deliberate synthesis of master craftsmanship and scientific design process, bound by the builder and architect’s desire to do right by the project and the homeowner. With so many of today’s builders guided solely by principles of maximizing profit, with only the most superficial nod to quality, so much of the built environment ends up being forgettable and even disposable: the [Sunshine Project] is evidence that some people still resist this cheap way of thinking about our built environment.” – Ken Sneed, Senior HERS Rater/RESNet QA Manager
“As Fuentes points out, going “beyond green” to become truly sustainable is catching on. “Natural building has value that goes beyond the immediate benefits of the product itself,” he says. “Straw bale is natural, biodegradable, as well as healthy and energy-efficient, and it supports local people in the community.” Brunel agrees. “It’s encouraging to see that there are people here locally, working to make this [green building/straw bale construction] an effective option…we feel pretty good that we’ve actually lessened our footprint on the planet.” – Brunel, Ranch. Quote from 5280 Magazine, “Splendor in the Grass” by Katy Neusteter, November, 2007.