On the Clock
Local builder Jon Rovick has been constructing log homes in the area for nearly 15 years, but it’s his green side that’s been evolving the most over the past few.Three years ago, he started Spirit Builders – a sustainable home building company that truly has embraced the spirit of building eco-friendly homes.Spirit is a true green home builder, designing houses that incorporate earth-friendly and renewable materials … for starters. But it goes further than just the materials that make up the walls, floors and insulation. Spirit homes are super energy-efficient, utilize high-efficiency boiler systems, and have some of the healthiest indoor air you’ll find in any home.
“I think it’s the direction that things are going toward today. We’re interested in (eco-friendly design) because not only are we thinking environmentally, but we’re also thinking about people’s pocketbooks,” Rovick said. “We can provide to our customers a home that performs well, and is affordable to live in as well as being earth-friendly.”While materials are obviously a key component to building a sustainable, highly-efficient home (Rovick says they use super-efficient windows and impenetrable insulation, for example), simple things can be done in the design phase as well. One of the things they’ll do is design large windows with southern exposure to maximize radiant heat, often trapped in an interior concrete floor.”It’s really a simple way of thinking,” he said.On the inside of the home, Spirit homes usually incorporate paints, solvents and insulations that are formaldehyde-free; the paints they use are free of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to prevent the “off-gassing” that can contaminate indoor air quality.
Environmental sensitivity goes beyond the efficient homes Rovick builds. He makes a conscious effort to limit site disturbance during the building process, and works hard to minimize the amount of materials that end up in the county landfill. He and his crew recycle all of the cardboard and metals used during building, and wood waste is non-existent on his jobs.”We don’t throw any wood away,” he said.The effort at green building is a growing trend in the building industry, Rovick said, and his company is working to certify some of their homes with the Built Green Colorado program through the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver. Locally, the company has been an active member of the former Summit Recycling Group’s Green Home Building Group. Rovick was a guest speaker at one of that group’s meetings, and Spirit opened up a unique home in Leadville for viewing that was built using straw bale.
Straw, Rovick said, “is not for everyone,” but its super-high insulating value and its renewable qualities make it one of the greenest building materials on earth. The example Leadville home used straw for wall panels, the exterior, and as a beautiful finish that matched the logs used for framing. Earthen clay plasters finished off the interior of the unique home.”I’m trying to be as open-minded with the structures that we build,” Rovick said.Here’s hoping more and more of his clients are as open-minded and committed to building dream homes that the earth’s ecosystem finds dreamy as well.
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