Community: The Secret Ingredient to Sustainable Development

By Scott Rodwin


There is no such thing as a sustainable home. That’s a pretty provocative statement coming from someone who makes his living designing LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy homes. What I mean is that the sustainability of a home is more than just the energy and resources that one home consumes; it’s also the lifestyle and total carbon footprint of the inhabitants of the home. I believe that community is the secret ingredient that can make allhomes more sustainable.

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Brewers Association

We remodeled a 12,000s.f. office building into a new headquarters for the Brewers Association.   We worked closely with the client to take into account their specific space needs and plans for future growth.  Our design team opened up the ceiling of the main floor to create a dramatic atrium and grand stair to increase connectivity between departments.  The public space has a full bar (of course!) adjoining the state-of-the-art conference room to support the social functions of the organization.  We incorporated playful brewery-inspired details like a beer bottle chandelier, raw steel, rustic brick and wood slats to create charm and fully express their unique brand.  As with all our projects, sustainability is woven throughout the project including: recycled materials, maximum re-use of existing finishes and fixtures, water conserving plumbing fixtures, Energy-Star appliances, mechanical and shell energy-upgrades, and LED lights throughout.




Meet Tim


Tim Hoefling has been a site supervisor with Skycastle Construction for the past 5 years (Happy Anniversary!). With nearly 40 years of experience, Tim is known for his tireless work ethic and genuine, friendly, straight-forward manner. He's the first and last guy on the site every day, and he treats every project as his own. He's a key member of our design/build team, and makes the potentially stressful construction process a pleasure. Knowing Tim is on the job helps us all sleep better.

Tim was also a serious alpinist with climbs in the French and Swiss Alps, and also an early proponent of telemarking on high mountain descents. These days, keeping up with the young Rodwin architectural staff on a snowboard is challenge enough.



Dineen Residence

The 3300 s.f. Dineen Residence is nestled into a forested hillside glade above Boulder, and combines old world materials with clean contemporary lines. Big southern windows create a strong passive solar design. The Great room features 12 ft tall ceilings, a see-through fireplace, and oversized French doors leading out to flagstone patios. The dining room includes a stunning chandelier and connects directly to the sunny gourmet kitchen.  The expansive mudroom is perfect for pets, kids and gardening mess. The second floor features an expansive study/rec room with a large deck to capture the huge views of the forest and plains. Radiant concrete floors, a solar electric PV system and excellent insulation are achieved a HERS 32 (uses 68% less energy than allowed by code). Built by Skycastle Construction.



Planet Experts featuring Scott Rodwin

Todd Fraser asks, Do you find those working in green building to also be more ambitious with their designs? Also, are there architectural limitations or serious financial hurdles when building ‘green?’ Thanks.”

Scott Rodwin: Adding green design to the host of factors that we have to meet in itself makes green buildings more ambitious (sort of like designing a Tesla instead of a Camero). Read More



Our clients found a dated 1970’s ranch backing to Open Space in one of Boulder’s best neighborhoods. We took the existing structure down to the foundations and then created the modern home that they had been dreaming of. Wedge has 5300 sf. of soaring light-filled space with an open floor plan and huge views of the Flatirons.  Enter through a show-stopping custom pivot front door and you are greeted by a suspended sculptural metal stair leading up to the master suite. The bedroom has a private deck supported by a canted steel column that leans into the foothills and provides shade on the western face. The home’s modest stained wood and stone façade hides a wedge-shaped glass box in the back and a large social deck that cascades out to the Japanese garden and backyard.  Inside, we used minimalist details, carefully designed lighting and beautiful materials to create a sophisticated contemporary palette.  The gourmet kitchen, dining room, and great room all are linked by a double sided fireplace, and open directly to the mountain view and the deck through a wall of glass and over sized sliding doors.The generous mudroom helps the owners keep the house clutter free and provides convenient access to both the garage and back-yard. It’s an efficient HERS 22 home (78% less energy than Code) with 7kWh of discretely placed solar panels and a ground source heat pump.




Don’t miss this popular 2 hour seminar taught by Scott Rodwin and Kirsten Snobeck through the Boulder Area Realtors Assoc. (BARA).  Want to know what you are allowed to do with a property?   We answer the common questions: “How big can I build?”, “Can I build here?” “How much does it cost?” and a hundred more of the most frequently asked property owner/buyer questions.  This information-packed class includes an overview of Historic Landmark designation, floodplain, the latest green building codes, the Compatible Development Ordinance, and the County Site Plan Review process.  Boulder has some of the strictest and most complex regulations in the Country.  Come get informed (and if you’re a BARA member, it’s free and you get 2 Continuing Ed credits).  This workshop often sells out so reserve your spot today.  Register here.


Green Building and Carbon Reduction Podcast with Scott Rodwin

KGNU’s Nicole Cheng spoke with Frank Wetenkamp, a co-owner of Living Craft design, and Scott Rodwin, with Sky Castle Construction and Rodwin architecture about how the green home industry could help in reducing our environmental problems.

Visit this link  to listen