– By Allyson Porteous –
Kyle Meyer was 16 when he got his first job in construction, cleaning up job sites in Boulder. This sparked his love of the building process, which soon led to laying foundations, then to building custom homes, and by 26, Black Timber Builders was born. In 2019, Kyle joined forces with Russell Baker, whose background is in land and development. They had a vision of creating something that no one else has done before. Together, alongside an incredible team of talented, determined entrepreneurs, they are challenging the industry standard.
“Building for the future is a passion the entire Black Timber team shares,” says Meyer. “It is our mission to be good stewards of the land and its resources. Through thoughtful planning, intentional design and a commitment to bettering our environmental impact, we have brought a new standard of quality to the Northern Colorado building community.”
The Estates at Donath Lake is the first community in the U.S. comprised of all Passive House certified homes. Passive House is the name of an international, highly energy-efficient construction standard. It is regarded as the most rigorous energy standard in the world, often enabling over 80 percent reduction in heating and cooling demand compared to the code minimum on new construction.
Aside from the high level of energy efficiency, the real benefit lies in the superior thermal comfort and healthy indoor air quality. Building components are selected on a climate-specific basis to provide suitable thermal protection, resulting in evenly distributed temperatures. Thorough energy modeling and detailing prevents cold spots that could cause discomfort and are more prone to the development of condensation, which can lead to mold. Indoor air quality is ensured via an energy recovery ventilator, which continually exchanges the home’s dirty air with fresh, filtered outdoor air, effectively removing pollutants and particulates.
While the Passive House features are impressive and the drastically reduced utility bills are a huge draw, it’s the aesthetic design that pulls you in. This is thanks to Black Timber Builders’ lead architect, Mike Koonce, and their secret weapon, interior designer Katie Meyer. With their eye for design, project manager Colin Knapp’s direction and the lead carpenter Logan Magnuson’s craftmanship, these homes are as beautiful as they are innovative.
NOCO Style recently had the privilege of touring their flagship home, the first of 13 to be completed in the Estates at Donath Lake. Pulling through the horseshoe driveway, our first thoughts were of how at home we felt. The home was grandiose in size, yet still welcoming and warm. The design was unlike anything we had seen before. It was obvious that much thought had gone into even the most minute details. Crisp black windowpanes sat against smooth, natural white stucco, offset in texture by walls of sandstone. The home perfectly complemented its backdrop, as if the materials used were derived from the land around it.
Opening the large glass front door, you could feel its significant weight, the kind of door you can walk up to in the dead of winter, coffee in hand, to watch the snow fall without the slightest hint of chill. We were promptly greeted by Meyer and Baker, who were eager to make sure their team members got the credit they deserved. “We could not have done this without the passion, dedication and talent of our team,” says Baker.
Entering the kitchen, our eyes were drawn to the Taj Mahal leathered quartzite countertops, stronger than granite and laced with subtle gold veins. The luxurious wide plank, white oak hardwood floors carried us into the family room, where we were swallowed by 30-foot vaulted ceilings and triple pane European tilt-turn windows that rose nearly as high.
The master bedroom opened up into a masterfully designed five-piece bathroom suite with heated floors, clawfoot bathtub, Carrara marble dual head shower, double sinks and private water closet. Upstairs you will find a cozy, open loft that looks out over the nearly two acres of beautiful landscape. As we gazed in awe at the design work and attention to detail, Meyer and Baker noted each team member’s hand in the process along the way.
We stopped to admire the staging. Clean contemporary lines meet classic old-world charm. Kyle beamed. “My wife, Katie, is the interior designer and has been a part of our team for about eight years now. She just had our second son two weeks ago and is an absolute superwoman.”
It is obvious that the Black Timber Builders group is not your average construction company, but a family with a mutual passion, working together toward a better future.
Photos by SierraAnn Photography: