Rocky Mountain Institute founder’s house features thick walls, no heating system

A mixture of concrete, sandstone, and polyurethane helps the structure retain heat all day and overnight.

August 08, 2014

Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental research and consulting organization, calls his home “the Banana Farm,” after the tropical fruits grown in its greenhouse. Located on a mountainside near Aspen, Colo. — where temperatures sometimes plunge to 30 degrees below zero — the home has no heating system. Instead, it was constructed with 16-inch-thick walls made of concrete, locally harvested sandstone, and a middle 4 inches of polyurethane. In the arid mountainous area, the sun is strong during the day so the walls store and retain heat throughout the day and overnight.  

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