Black Timber Builders, a Fort Collins-based residential development and home building company, is creating the country’s first community of single-family Passive House certified homes. The Estates at Donath Lake include 13 distinctly custom homes sitting on roughly one and a half acre lots next to Donath Lake in South Fort Collins.

Passive House is an international, climate-specific, construction standard that focuses on improving indoor air quality and thermal comfort while significantly reducing the overall energy consumption of the structure. In many cases, 80% to 90% reduction in energy consumption is achieved when compared to code-built homes. With escalating home prices and interest rates, home buyers are seeking alternative ways to reduce their cost of living and create greater long-term value.

According to The Passive House Institute (PHI), across the United States, there are currently only 83 detached single-family homes that are Passive House certified and only 6 of those homes are in Colorado. Different than other energy-efficient building certifications which use a prescriptive checklist approach, Passive House uses a performance-based approach, focusing on the overall performance and health of the home. This allows builders to find creative solutions to meet the Passive House requirements and provides an overall holistic design approach. Upon completion of The Estates at Donath Lake, Black Timber Builders will have built approximately 50% of the Passive House certified homes in the state.

Historically, energy-forward homes are associated with modular and contemporary architectural design.  Black Timber Builders is evolving that mindset by elevating the design of the homes within this luxury community. They have a focus and a desire to build homes that better the community and enhance the experience of those living in them. “Our company is fortunate to have an in-house architecture and design team paired with highly skilled carpenters that enable us to explore advancements in building science. This allows us to build homes that are not only beautiful and functional but also extremely energy forward” states Kyle Meyer, Principal of Black Timber.

“As both the developer and builder, we’re able to be intentional with our goals for the community, focusing on achieving Passive House standards while implementing unique architectural massing and details,” said Russell Baker, Principal of Black Timber. Black Timber is proving to the industry that the most stringent energy goals can be achieved without sacrificing diversity in style.