The folks at Melhorn Construction have been thinking green for a long time! And, while the importance of sustainable structures, communities and environments seems to be just now coming to the forefront of thought, Melhorn's people have been paving the way in design and construction of green buildings since the late 1970s. One of the earliest green projects, the Colosol House, was built in the Colorado mountains and featured in a 1980 issue of Mother Earth Magazine (read article here). This sustainable super-energy-efficient structure utilized the science of solar heating and thermal energy to create a unique environment that was also aesthetically beautiful and earth-friendly. Structures such as the Colosol House are the genesis of the current green movement and Melhorn's people were there. Mother Earth News' 1980 Article on the earth-sheltered home (pdf. format).
(Select to enlarge)
Other Melhorn affiliated projects leading the way in the green building movement include the Davis Waldorf School building design, and the site-integrated Ketchum Home in Winters CA. The Davis Waldorf School structure incorporates solar and thermal technologies with a green roof: the roof is also a garden...so to speak! This green roof, along with the natural finishes, novel low-flow plumbing system and water recirculation systems each contribute to a learning environment that is visually rich, environmentally clean and healthy and has an over-all feeling of a child's natural paradise. The Davis Waldorf School design provides a model for the kind of healthy and sustainable environments that might provide children in the future with a place for learning facts, figures, and their own important connection to the planet.
(tubing installation for heating and cooling - select to enlarge)
The site-integrated Ketchum Home in Winters California is virtually a part of the natural hydro and thermal systems of the organic almond and walnut orchard it occupies. Designed with the watering cycles of the nuts in mind, the 3500 sq. foot structure uses hydronic heating and cooling - circulating the naturally cooled water brought up from the orchard's well through the structure and then sending it out into the orchard to provide water to the trees. The home's heating system is also fully-integrated into nature's own cycles as when, in heating mode, water is warmed through a combination of a low-energy water heater and solar energy and then circulated through all three levels of this modern earth-friendly Victorian home.
Melhorn is proud to support the US Green Building Council and we are committed
to creating new building and development practices that lead
the way in earth-friendly construction.