Green Isn’t Just a Buzzword

Did you know that windows can account for as much as 25 percent of energy loss in your home? That light colored materials on the external walls and roof can reduce cooling requirements by up to 15 percent? That a well-sealed thermal envelope can reduce energy costs by as much as 50 percent? We do. And we bring that knowledge to every home we build. For us, every home is a green home.

But beyond the common knowledge that can make every home greener, we also specialize in several sustainable building techniques that we can use to reduce your energy costs and your environmental footprint.

Green Building Achievements

  • Cornerstone has built more homes with SIPs than any other builder in Colorado.
  • Cornerstone received the best Natural Air Infiltration Rating in Colorado with one home achieving .01 NACH.
  • Cornerstone has built over twenty Net Zero Energy Homes.
  • Cornerstone co-built a home that received the highest residential LEED Platinum rating in the world.
  • Cornerstone is the first builder in Colorado to build out a 100% Zero Energy housing development. 

Some of the Techniques We Use:

  • Solar PV
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Geothermal Heating & Cooling
  • Thermal Envelope
  • SIPs
  • HERS Score

We’ll Help You Do It Right…

You may have concerns that these energy-saving options add complication to your construction job. Or that they cost more to implement than you would reap in savings. That’s not necessarily the case. We’d love to talk to you about some of the more sustainable home-building options—we think you’ll be surprised. We also have extensive experience helping our clients navigate through municipal energy requirements. If you choose to go green, we’ll help you do it right, cost-effectively and with minimal hassle.

Building Net Zero

A zero-energy home produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption, and in some cases, can actually produce more renewable energy than it consumes, giving back to the electrical grid. A combination of passive solar design, high performance building technologies, and renewable energy systems is the most basic way of achieving net zero energy.

  • Passive Solar

    Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site and climate to reduce energy consumption. Our climate in Colorado yields both advantages and challenges for building passive solar. Passive solar heating is maximized during the winter months with appropriately sized south facing windows while overhangs and shading provide protection during the hot summer months.

  • Building Envelope

    Colorado experiences extreme temperature swings which is why it’s important to produce an air-tight building envelope. Installing high-performance windows, doors, and insulation, along with a proper ERV system, prevents air leakage from occurring while keeping the indoor air quality high. To ensure the structure is air-tight, a blower door test is conducted by a professional energy auditor to identify any weak spots that may require attention.

  • High Performance Energy Systems

    Installing a solar PV system and geothermal ground source pump is the last step in achieving zero energy. Solar PV utilizes the sun to produce electricity while a geothermal ground pump uses the earth as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer, providing year-round heating and cooling for your home.

SIP Panels

Saving Energy, Cutting Costs
Industry experts agree that ensuring a strong thermal envelope around your house is the number one way to increase energy efficiency in your home. Structural Insulated Panels (or SIPs for short) are high-performance building panels used in floors, walls and roofs. Unlike conventional stick construction, SIP construction forms a continuous insulated barrier eliminating thermal bridging that would otherwise occur at each stud.

SIPs can be made from a variety of materials, but we prefer polyurethane/closed foam SIPs for their higher R-value* per square inch, higher density for better structural value, and vapor barrier qualities.

We have a lot of experience working with SIPs and often use them to make homes more energy efficient. They are easy to install and require less labor, which saves on both construction time and cost. We work with a variety of SIPs companies in Colorado and can help you figure out which SIPs solution is right for your home.

*R-value—Indicates an insulation’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective the material is at insulating.

Boulder County BuildSmart

Looking to navigate through the building process in Boulder County?

We have built homes for dozens of homeowners in Boulder County and we are extremely familiar with the ins and outs of Boulder County BuildSmart, the county’s residential green building code. These requirements affect all new residential construction and additions in unincorporated Boulder County. We have been through extensive Boulder BuildSmart training and can not only build to code specifications, but also advise clients on what they need to do to comply with BuildSmart regulations.

Building Geosolar in Colorado

Cornerstone Contracting has been the builder on the GEOS development in Arvada since the project’s inception. GEOS is the first sustainable, integrated community in Colorado where energy from the earth and sun replace all fossil fuels. We use a range of architectural materials—including brick, stone, and stucco—to create a variety of single-family homes, town-homes, live-work spaces, condos, and co-housing communities. Our involvement with GEOS reflects our commitment to creating sustainable communities that use zero energy to benefit our humankind and our planet.

Building Net-Zero

Cornerstone Contracting has partnered with Cornerstone Homes Development Company to create a new net-zero energy, sustainable, urban neighborhood in Lafayette, Colorado that incorporates green building, green infrastructure, and urban agriculture. This 80 acre development will be made up of over 280 lots with diverse housing options, a centralized community center, and commercial retail space. To preserve the overall rural aesthetic, 47% of the development will consist of an extensive network of parks, pocket parks, open landscape, trail corridors, habitat, agriculture & riparian areas.