Expanding an Off-Grid Vision

Expanding an Off-Grid Vision

Green Builder® Media’s most ambitious project to date, the VISION House® at Mariposa Meadows is on track to open this summer.
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VISION House at Mariposa Meadows

SIPs at the VISION House at Mariposa Meadows

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Green Builder Media

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 3:00pm

CAMPAIGN: VISION House at Mariposa Meadows

CONTENT: Article

Green Builder Media's latest VISION House® project is breaking new ground. When completed, compact, low-impact residences, a corporate campus and research center—all powered by renewable energy systems—will share space with moose, bears and beavers, high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. An ambitious vision, to be sure, but one that’s been in the works for some time.

The Mariposa Meadows project is part of an original set of goals I outlined over a decade ago,” says Ron Jones, president and cofounder of Green Builder® Media. It will function as a Sustainability Institute, featuring self-sufficient homes and buildings for ongoing monitoring, a central micro-grid, a meeting center for thought leadership summits and training, testing  labs, experimental greenhouses and gardens, workshops, barns and environmental research facilities—all at 10,400 feet.

“We figure that if we can successfully implement these concepts in the extremes of a remote, high-altitude location, they can be applied in urban, rural or suburban settings across the country,” says Sara Gutterman, CEO and cofounder of Green Builder® Media.

The first phase, the VISION House® at Mariposa Meadows, consists of three residential structures: Atrium Duet, two living units connected by a central enclosed living space; Aspen Cabin, a two-story structure with an open loft; and a Studio unit above a garage. Eventually, the property will include eight to 10 residential structures and a similar number of other buildings for research, conferences and storage. The ReVISION House® at Rancho La Garita, in the nearby town of Lake City, will serve as a lodge and base camp for visitors attending workshops and other events at the Sustainability Institute.

“When people come here from the big city and corporate life, they’ll spend a day or two acclimating at the Rancho,” says Gutterman. “The property includes a half-mile of riverfront—any fisherperson’s dream.”
Jones and Gutterman had been searching for the right site for several years, focusing on the Rocky Mountain region from Montana to northern New Mexico. While looking at a parcel in southern Colorado, they stumbled upon the Mariposa Meadows property—a 120-acre inholding surrounded by National Forests, 14,000-foot peaks and three wilderness areas. The property’s history traces back to the Homestead Act, and while the acreage has been used for high-altitude grazing, it has never been mined or farmed.