• 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 even in winter. One of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s main goals behind the development of the Innovation Center was to demonstrate a path for the design, contracting, construction, and occupancy of Net Zero Energy buildings in all climates.



  • 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

  • Low energy use (EUI of 13.6 in its first year) and 83kW PV array contribute to ~170% net positive including EV charging on site.

  • Sustainable and beautiful Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) structure.

  • Quadruple pane window glass and a focus on large windows with operable exterior shades on the southern exposure helps maximize passive heat from the sun.

  • Offers personal comfort systems through heated and cooled office chairs, reducing the need to regulate the entire space.

  • Largest commercial office to achieve Passive House, with no active cooling system. An airtight envelope and effective heat recovery help keep a steady inside temperature.

  • 90+% effective heat recovery. The heat recovery effectiveness is high enough to eliminate heating in the ventilation system.

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