• 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-Zero Energy building is in one of the coldest climates 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
  • Net-Zero Energy
  • LEED Platinum

Progress Report

Largest commercial office to achieve Passive House
Living Building Petal Certified
Achieved 63% better energy efficiency than code
Achieved 40% better potable water efficiency than code
EUI of 17.2

Special features

  • A 83 kW rooftop PV array and off-site community PV plant will power 90-100% of the building
  • The project team is investigating the potential of providing additional PV-sourced power for employees to commute via electric car, taking the project beyond Net-Zero
  • In a section of the building, the design team is experimenting with a direct-current power system which is theorized to be more efficient than alternating-current power when traveling short distances
  • Rainwater reclamation with onsite pond storage
  • Greywater reuse infrastructure provided for future installation of full system
  • Passive heating and cooling

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