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CSDA: Sustainable communities

ColoradoBiz Staff //November 1, 2010//

CSDA: Sustainable communities

ColoradoBiz Staff //November 1, 2010//


1st Place
Three Springs, Durango

Landscape Architect/planner 
DHM Design
General contractors
Okland Construction, FCI Constructors, Tierra Group, Accent
Tierra Group
GF Development Group LLC
Located east of historic downtown Durango, Three Springs is a development of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in collaboration with several other area groups. Three Springs combines environmentally safe homes, shops and restaurants, parks and plazas for community gatherings, recreational areas, open spaces and trail systems. The overarching purpose of the project is to achieve a vibrant, walkable and sustainable community. The development model utilized smart-growth principles such as a compact development pattern directed toward existing communities. A mix of land use types offering medical, office, retail and residential ensures the community will have a versatile economic base. The initial phases were completed from 2007 to 2010, with the proposed build-out of the 681-acre project estimated at 30-plus years.

Sustainable features
• Nearly half (approximately 300 acres) of the land is dedicated to open space, parks and schools, encouraging outdoor living and neighbor-to-neighbor interaction.
• Convenient entrance point to an extensive regional trail system, including a direct tie to the Telegraph Trail System and SMART 160, which will eventually link Durango and Bayfield.
• Each home meets or exceeds GreenBuilt Colorado standards and consumes 33 percent less energy than the typical home built in Durango.
• Phoenix Recycling Center has located a facility to recycle and reuse construction waste such as wood, cardboard, metal, concrete and bricks, thereby diverting these materials from the landfill, and giving them a second life.

Judges’ comments
This project has its heart in the right place for a lot of the elements that are considered sustainable. Special attention should be given for its presence as a self-contained neighborhood built on the edge of Durango.”


2nd Place

Avon West Town Center Redevelopment Plan

Landscape architect/site planner
Design Workshop Inc.
Master Development 
Avon Urban Renewal Authority
B&B Contractors of Grand Junction; Lake Street – American Civil Constructors of Littleton

The first two projects of a $30 million capital-improvements plan are Avon Station and Lake Street. The goals were to improve the civic infrastructure through urban design by creating a true sense of place, encouraging safe pedestrian and vehicular interaction, and providing public investment in Avon’s West Town Center District to further promote private redevelopment. Avon Station serves as the town’s only multimodal transportation hub linking Avon to local, skier and regional mass transit throughout Vail/Eagle Valley. Lake Street provides two vehicular gateways at the western edge of the district.

Sustainable features
• The transit shelter at Avon Station was designed so that the energy required to warm users in winter is reduced by the passive solar design. In summer, the walls are able to lift to provide cross ventilation. The smaller transit shelter at Lake Street incorporated solar panels to light the structure at night.
• Walkability and connectivity: Since the project’s inception, Avon Station has seen an increase in transit ridership of approximately 25,500 (38 percent) rider trips from 2006 to 2008.
• A mix of market-rate and affordable housing units ensures year-round vitality. Provisions were made for a minimum 15 percent affordable housing in the West Town Center.

Judges’ comments
This project demonstrates an effort to create a strong sense of place that strengthens connections within and outside the community and encourages safe pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”


3rd Place
The Bails Townhomes

Urbitecture Inc.
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

The Bails Townhome Community (BTC) is a 24-unit affordable housing development in Denver’s Virginia Village neighborhood. Situated near the major arteries of Interstate 25 and Colorado Boulevard, the development is strategically located a half-mile from light rail. The BTC is Habitat for Humanity’s first Transit Oriented Development in metro Denver. With transportation being the second largest expense for low-income families, this development will allow for affordable housing and transportation options. It will incorporate green building components beyond standard energy-efficient practices, helped by a Green Communities Grant it received from Enterprise Community Partners and The Home Depot’s “Partners in Sustainable Building” initiative.

Sustainable features
• A collaborative approach to building homes: Future homeowners, sponsors, volunteers and community partners all chip in to construct the homes.
• Within walking distance of an elementary school, public library and city park.
• Homes have superior exterior insulation. There is on-site recycling. Most units have at least four south-facing windows and utilize an open floor plan to accommodate adequate cross ventilation.
• Six of the 24 units are fully accessible.

Judges’ comments
This town-home development’s proximity to a light rail station will offer alternative transportation for low-income families.”

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