2016 Golden Solar Tour Homes

Saturday, Oct 1st 

The 2016 tour features a self-guided tour of 13 Energy-Efficient and Sustainable homes and life styles, from Golden and Indian Hills to Denver and Arvada! Come see a Sustainable Farm, Sustainable Garden,  a Tiny House, Backup-Battery Factory, a certified “Passive House”, Electric Vehicle roundup, and many other fascinating locations.

Two Registration locations for your convenience, 9am  $10 / person: 

GOLDEN: American Mountaineering Center  - 710 10th St Golden CO 80401

DENVER: Andy Nowak Home: 1426 S. Race St, Denver CO 80210

Below are a few examples:

Who knew shipping containers could serve as dwellings, particularly in an urban setting? Apparently, Regan and Libby Foster, who have built a pleasing, modern home in the heart of Denver. Nine separate containers comprise this 4700 square-foot home that includes a “Mother-in-law apartment.”

The building material may be unconventional, but the energy features are textbook efficiency. Clerestory windows operate to provide upper space venting, and add to the overall natural lighting scheme that illuminates all the rooms. High performance low-e windows complement the insulation package of sprayed foam and fiberglass batts, with foundation and under-floor insulation. LED lighting supplements the daylighting design, and for extra comfort, a “Big-ass Fan” keeps air moving.

The Fosters have pre-wired the garage for the planned electric vehicle charging station, and the landscape features low-water turf. An added point of interest: much of the furniture in the Fosters' home was built by the owners.

Ryan and Libby Foster

Brandon and Maggie Williams

This modest 1960s home has been upgraded to include passive solar features as well as ground-mounted PV. LED lighting, Rain Water cistern, low flush toilets. Insulation has been upgraded, as well as the southern windows, to collect and hold winter heat. The pole mounted PV panels feed a battery back-up that can kick in to offset peak electricity rates, assisted by battery control electronics.

geos Community Neighborhood

Norbert Klebl's vision of a highly efficient development has been coming together in this Arvada neighborhood, featuring townhomes that far exceed the characteristics of a typical high density development. Pleasingly located adjacent to the extensive Ralston Creek Regional Greenway, this community has mountain views and lofty design goals.


This Arvada home weighs in at 4500 square feet, combining living quarters with a basement fabrication and wood shop. A zero HERS rating means the home uses virtually no net energy; that is, it produces as much as it uses. Several building features make this possible.  Air infiltration has been cut to 0.5 air changes per hour (ACH @ 50 pascals); conditioned fresh air is provided by a heat recovery ventilator (HRV); rim joists have been insulated with sprayed foam; an efficient ground-source heat pump gets heat from a 300-foot pipe system under the driveway; the efficient electrical usage is then topped off with a 32-panel, 8.3 kW PV system. Lighting is 100% LEDs, controlled by an innovative lighting system from Zigbee.