Carbon Aware

Because it’s the right thing to do

View of Otis Peak, Hallett Peak, and Flattop Mountain as seen from Windcliff Estates.

We don’t just work in Estes Park, we live in Estes Park. It’s our community, it’s where our children and grandchildren go to school. Darling Enterprise cares about the carbon profile of the homes we build not just because our customers care, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Many of the homes we build are in Windcliff Estates which overlooks Rocky Mountain National Park. Being a builder and driving to work with views of Rocky Mountain National Park, we can’t help but have a keen sense of environmental responsibility.

Understanding your green objectives

As part of the Design-Build process, we work with clients to understand their green objectives. It starts in the design phase. These are some of the carbon-aware and safety options we regularly offer and discuss with clients:  

  • Minimizing home impact on the lot and surrounding area.
  • Water Conservation – High efficiency plumbing fixtures including dual flush toilets and low-flow shower heads and faucets.
  • Maximizing energy efficiency:
    • Orienting home to increase solar gain in winter and decrease solar gain in summer.
    • Paying strict attention to R-values on all exterior building components.  
    • ICF Construction (Insulated Concrete Form) is our standard construction method for residential homes. ICF Construction features concrete walls with extremely high R-values.
    • Heating Systems – In-Floor Radiant Heat, high efficiency gas furnaces and boilers, wood pellet boilers, geothermal heating & cooling, electric thermal storage boilers, wood stoves. (See the section below on Steffes boilers.)
    • Spray Foam Insulation
    • Energy Star Appliances 
    • Tankless Water Heaters 
  • Construction Efficiency – Sourcing building materials locally and/or regionally where possible.
  • Air Quality – Keeping indoor air quality pristine utilizing radiant heat and central vac to eliminate blowing dust and bacteria, and using only low-VOC emission products for paint, carpeting, cabinetry, and adhesives.

These topics are a starting point

We’ll work with clients on specific green requests, up to and including LEED Certification. We want you to be as thrilled with your home’s carbon profile as you are with the home, itself.

A Carbon Reducing, Energy Efficiency Story

Steffes electric thermal storage furnace.

This Darling-installed electric thermal storage furnace in Estes Park is the heat source for a residential in-floor heating system. This install is an example of both cost efficiency and carbon reduction.

During off-peak night hours, when electric rates in Estes Park are about 40% less than during peak hours, this Steffes thermal storage furnace converts electricity into heat and stores it in specially designed ceramic bricks inside the unit.

The next day, stored heat is transferred, as needed, to the in-floor heating system. This warms the house.

Homeowner cost-efficiency is achieved because electricity is purchased at the 40% lower night rate. Also, the high R-Value of ICF concrete walls means a well-insulated home that will require less heating. Finally, the in-floor radiant heat system is a highly efficient heat delivery system that only provides heat to zones requiring heat.

Carbon reduction is achieved on several levels:

  • First, no carbon fuel such as natural gas or LP gas is burned in the home.
  • Second, the electric power provider to Estes Park is Platt River Power Authority near Fort Collins, CO. Already, 50% of Platt River’s power comes from renewable, non-carbon sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric. In fact, one of Platt River’s hydroelectric plants is located in Estes Park. Bottom line: today, at least 50% of the electricity used to heat the ceramic bricks in a Steffes furnace comes from renewable, non-carbon sources.
  • Third, Platte River has committed to 100% non-carbon electric generation by 2030. A Steffes electric thermal storage furnace installed today will help move homeowners to a fully carbon neutral heating system over the next decade

We know you care for the environment as we do. Let’s talk about an energy-efficient low-carbon home in the Estes Valley.