Environmentally responsive design is a process of making informed choices to create healthy, comfortable buildings that are in harmony with the environment and ourselves. Utilizing a sustainable design philosophy encourages decisions at each phase of the design process that will reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants, without compromising the bottom line. Such an integrated approach positively influences all phases of a building’s life-cycle, including design, construction, and operation. Charles Cunniffe Architects is dedicated to a humanistic, socially responsible and technologically sophisticated vision of design. Every project, whether residential, commercial, municipal or a resort facility, is thoughtfully designed with an emphasis on reduced energy consumption, project footprint and sustainability.

By designing structures with the environmentally friendly building materials accessible in today’s market, green building is not only essential to our environment but is easily attainable. The result is an optimal balance of cost, environmental and societal benefits, while meeting the mission and function of the intended facility. Building design through environmental response, functionalism, cost effectiveness and a commitment to LEED have remained critical issues in developing sustainable buildings. Charles Cunniffe Architects brings this commitment to your project.

Green Office Methods

With a historic office in downtown Aspen, we do our best to reduce our consumption and carbon footprint.  CCA’s Green Office Methods include: Recycled paper used for all stationery, copy paper, envelopes, brochures, business cards; Stationery package printed with soy-based inks; Recycled toilet paper and paper towels; Rigorous office-wide recycling program; Energy Star printers; New and efficient furnaces and boilers; On-demand water faucet and dual flush toilet; Donation and recycling program for office equipment; “Green” cleaning supplies; Passive ventilation; Car sharing program, etc.

K2 Ranch – Going to LEED!

With the homeowners cognizant of the environmental impacts of homebuilding and focused on minimizing their carbon footprint, they set out to carefully design and construct a new residence with a team duly focused on sustainable design. The vision started the day they purchased the property and now, nearing completion, the home is set to achieve certification with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

Charles Cunniffe Architects and builder Structural Associates have worked hand-in-hand throughout the design and construction process to focus on a holistic approach to energy efficiency and green building, while maintaining their focus on outstanding aesthetics and quality. Local consultant Active Energies worked as a third-party verifier for the LEED for Homes program to verify credit items on the project site and work alongside the project team to provide effective verification and engagement with the program. The LEED program is a rigorous program, administered by the US Green Building Council, involving third-party verification and testing, encompassing a variety of green building measures. Specific measures utilized in this home include:

  1. Outstanding energy performance, including geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling, a 62 kW photovoltaic onsite solar field for electricity, hydronic roof mounted solar panels, and enhanced insulation and window package
  2. Increased R-value to super insulated exterior and underslab envelope
  3. Drought-tolerant plantings with high efficiency and limited irrigation system
  4. Low flow sinks and toilets
  5. Low VOC interior paint and sealants material
  6. Jobsite waste diversion to reduce the impact on landfills
  7. Fresh air ventilation and automated exhaust to reduce the risk of indoor air pollution and moisture build up
  8. Integrated design process with CCA, Active Energies, Structural Associates and the consultant team
  9. Tested and verified heating system air flows and air tightness performance for energy efficiency

The project was registered with the LEED program while in design by CCA, and an integrated process fostered the early collaboration between CCA’s office and Structural Associates’ construction team.

“Targeting LEED for Homes on such an extraordinary home has been a worthwhile effort by everyone involved. The result is a highly efficient home that is responsible to its surroundings and environment. It’s a true testament that luxury homes can be designed conscientiously.” stated Erica Delak, Project Manager for CCA.

Recent Sustainably Designed Projects:
  • K2 Ranch, designed to achieve LEED for Homes, Aspen CO
  • Aspen Park, designed to achieve LEED For Homes, Aspen CO
  • Colorado Mountain College Energy Campus Master Plan, Rifle CO
  • Theatre Aspen, Aspen CO
  • Midland Place, Basalt CO
  • Entrada Affordable Housing, Telluride CO
  • Gold Run Affordable Housing, Telluride CO