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Mountain News: Jackson’s real estate boom is over



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That was several years ago. Since then, the governments and local community organizers have been trying to figure out how their communities can live up to their vows of lower-carb diets.

Last year, the communities began collecting data, to establish a baseline as of 2005 for those emissions. Last week they assembled to hear what others have done, and talked about what they can do.

Among those speaking was George Sibley, a long-time local, who called for more local production of energy, instead of depending upon energy imported from central sources. He also called for more care in local building.

“Really, is there any reason why we should be allowing anybody to build a new house that isn’t sited on its lot and has some accommodation to the idea that the sun shines a lot here and that’s a lot of energy?” Sibley asked.

Meanwhile, building codes are being upgraded to require greater efficiency. In this case, instead of the initiative coming from the grassroots, the action is coming from higher levels.

In Crested Butte’s case, the town thought it had more stringent standards. But new iterations of the International Energy Conservation Code are causing Crested Butte to do some catchup.


Aspen considers 2030 Challenge

ASPEN, Colo. – City officials in Aspen are being urged to adopt building regulations that square up with the 2030 Challenge of making new buildings carbon neutral.

If embraced, the challenge will require that buildings constructed next year become 50 per cent more energy-efficient than the average existing house in Aspen, with the goal that houses will become increasingly efficient in future years, so that houses built in 2030 are carbon neutral.

Such buildings must be super-insulated, to prevent energy loss, but with some means of generating or retaining energy. Passive solar is perhaps the easiest way for a building to generate its own energy, but photo-voltaic collectors, geoexchange loop systems, and even microhydro systems can also generate heat, electricity, or both.

The challenge was posted in 2006 by Santa Fe-based architect Edward Mazria. Mazria argues that buildings consume 50 per cent of all energy used in the United States. As such, if the nation hopes to dampen its greenhouse gas emissions, it must start constructing buildings with more intelligence.