• Image courtesy of Tim Griffith

  • Image courtesy of Tim Griffith

Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center

Basalt, CO

Business Type

Headquarters/Commercial office


16,000 square feet

This Net-Positive Energy building is in the coldest climate in the lower 48 states. An envelope tuned for passive operation allows the building to operate without cooling systems and very little heating to maintain comfort. Personal comfort systems are included to heat the people, not the space.



  • Living Building
  • Passive House
  • LEED Platinum

Progress Report

Largest commercial office to achieve Passive House
Living Building Petal Certified
Achieves 63% better energy efficiency than code
Achieves 40% better potable water efficiency than code

Special features

  • Operating EUI of 13.6 in first year
  • 83kW PV array
  • ~170% net positive including EV charging on site
  • Electric resistance heating. Capacity is equivalent to about one hair dryer per 1, 000 square feet.
  • 90+% effective heat recovery. The heat recovery effectiveness is high enough to eliminate heating in the ventilation system.
  • Passive cooling (no active cooling system)
  • Personal comfort systems through heated and cooled office chairs
  • Quadruple pane window glass
  • Approximately 70% glazed-on Southern exposure to maximize passive solar heating
  • Automatic operable exterior shades on South and West facades for solar heat gain control.
  • Air tightness tested to be 0.34 ACH Air Tightness at 50 PA
  • Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) structure

Blog Coverage

"Operational, Refrigerant and Embodied Emissions: Why They All Matter"


RMI's Innovation Center Achieves Living Building Petal Certification


RMI's 5 Steps to Redefining Thermal Comfort


Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center Opens


A virtual tour of the Rocky Mountain Institute's Innovation Center