What’s New in Green
by Jessica Newens
Jun 01, 2010 | 2239 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two Telluride-based businesses showcase the latest in sustainable products and their successful local installation. Going Solar in High Country
219 Alder, Telluride

Designer Laura Daley’s 2008 remodel of a 1970s Telluride home involved greening up the house with new insulation, upgraded windows, bamboo flooring and other fairly simple changes and upgrades. But what proved more of a challenge was finding a place to affix the solar collectors for the owners’ domestic hot-water system.

“We were originally going to put panels on the roof, but we couldn’t get what we needed in that space,” says Daley, pointing to a small section of roof.

So Daley turned to Leif Juell of Ridgway-based Alternative Power Enterprises, who installed 16 evacuated tube solar collectors that double as deck balusters, placed in horizontal rows. Round metal fenceposts of equal size were fitted into the remaining sections of deck so a passerby would be hard pressed to notice the solar tubes.

“Inside the tube is an aluminum absorber, which is set at the optimal angle for this latitude and altitude,” she explains.

“This system works really well for hot water. Originally we were going to attach the tubes to the outside of the rails but HARC (Telluride’s Historical and Architectural Review Commission) wanted something less obvious. Then we started on an integrated design,” Daley says, adding, “I’m glad in the end they made us do it that way. It looks better and works well.”

Heat from the system is directed to an 80-gallon hot-water storage tank and also used to pre-heat another hot-water tank that runs the home’s in-floor heat. A new boiler was also incorporated into the system as backup.

According to the homeowner, her family of four has never once run out of hot water with the new system, even with multiple loads of laundry and simultaneous showers.

“We’re really happy with it, and that we were able to incorporate [the tubes] into the deck design.

Within Telluride’s Historic District, which is strictly regulated by HARC, retrofitting a home with solar panels is particularly challenging because most homes have north-south ridges — not the ideal direction for capturing sunlight. Adding solar tubes to decking is a unique, and perhaps more realistic method for capturing energy from the sun. In addition, this type of installation prevents snow-buildup from blocking sun collection, as is sometimes the case in roof applications. 

“It was such a fun project,” says Daley, who worked with her husband Patrick Daley, of Daley Construction, to complete the remodel. Her Daley Design Studio is located in Telluride, www.daleydesignstudio.com. Alternative Power Enterprises may be found at www.alternative-power.com.

EcoSpaces Green Product Profile
Recycled Rubber Roofing Tiles By EcoStar

“Your roof is one of the most important building materials,” says Joanna Kanow of Telluride’s EcoSpaces, holding up a recycled rubber roofing tile made by EcoStar — one of the green building products her company carries.

“These roofs are guaranteed against sun, rain and snow, and they’re made from recycled post-industrial waste from the tire industry.” The waste is literally swept off the factory floor and then molded into roofing material, she explains.

Available in shake shingle and slate styles, the tiles come in nine colors.

“They’re also available with solar panels embedded in them,” says Kanow. And EcoStar roofs have a 50-year warranty. “They will basically survive the life of the house,” she says.

Kanow’s husband and business partner Daniel Kanow pulls out a tile that’s been held against a welding torch. There is black discoloration, but no evidence of melting or penetration from the flame. Besides its superior fire resistance and wind rating, EcoStar roofing is “easy to install, keeps its color and won’t warp or dry out,” he explains.

As with most green products, EcoStar roofing costs a bit more up front, but it doesn’t have to be replaced over time, unlike traditional roofing materials, including cedar shake and metal. And the tiles are 80-90 percent recycled, sustainable and non-toxic, points out Joanna.

“Think of the process of trying to dispose of plastics and tires,” she says. That’s an indication of the indestructibility of those products. “Wouldn’t you want that same kind of material to be your roof?”

Check out EcoStar roofing at the Ecospaces’ Lawson Hill showroom in Telluride, where you will also find a number of other green building materials and design ideas, including flooring and lighting.

They are the Western San Juans’ source for no-voc paints and clay paints; cork, bamboo and Marmoleum flooring; recydled-materials countertops; formaldehyde-free plywood; reccled denim insulation; and much more

EcoSpaces’ website is EcoBuildingmaterials.com, or call them at 970/728-1973.

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