Future Boulder Real Estate Project From Habitat For Humanity

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Habitat For Humanity Builds In Boulder And Beyond

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Boulder Custom Builder Bob Hughes “Nails It” For Architect Jim Logan

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Boulder custom home builder Bob Hughes is at it again. Hughes construction is finishing up an incredible green-focused remodel on the personal residence of well-know local Boulder architect Jim Logan.

From the engineered lumber used for much of the framing, to 100 plus year old bricks (which are very green due to the very low ’embodied energy’ which includes simply the transportation from Denver), Hughes has shown once again that he and his crew understand the wide variety of ways to implement green building techniques in a straight-forward and cost effective approach. This Boulder green builder has the experience and dedication to bring you honest and effective solutions to your home building or renovating project.

One thing that I love about this profile is that you get to see the home before much of the green built techniques and products are covered up. We went into the Logan residence just after insulation, doors and windows were in, to give you a rare peek at the guts of a project like this.

There’s a very important reason to be here, reporting on the project at this phase. Hughes makes it a policy to do a blower door test on all his construction projects at two points in the schedule. The first, and most important test is done before sheetrock and other finishing systems are in place. This way, the Hughes Construction crew can find any small leaks and REPAIR them before moving forward. Many other lesser builders only do the blower door test at the end, which really doesn’t provide any opportunity for improvement of the home. After all, what good is a report that you can do little about?!

Starting from the outside, we can see the exterior is enveloped in closed-cell Styrofoam insulation. This provides two benefits; first, there’s an expected insulation advantage due to the typical addition of about an R5 per inch value in the Styrofoam itself, but I think even more important is the thermal break you get from this sheathing. Remember, those wall studs are thermal transmitters, and this thermal break of insulation interrupts that unwanted heat transfer.

Inside, you’ll see in the video how Icynene spray foam insulation was used in the walls and ceilings. This open-cell expanding foam gives excellent insulation value, and also does a tremendous job of sealing potential heat and air leaks. There are two key reasons why you see smooth walls but bumpy ceilings. Both are explained in the video, and directly relate to how Hughes works hard to find balance in the way he approaches green building success.

Hughes says one of his primary goals is to build sustainable homes from a number of different viewpoints. Today, that means having a keen understanding of everything from reuse of products (think the 100 year old bricks, LSL studs and joists), to renewable energy solutions (the Logan home utilizes a geothermal energy system for home heating and cooling), and of course efficiency measures (insulation and good home sealing).

In my view, Bob Hughes nails it, not only for Jim Logan, but all of his clients when it comes to highly effective custom green building for Boulder and beyond.

Call or email me today to learn more about green building, and to get a personal introduction to one of Boulder’s leading experts on green building and custom home building.

Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker® at RE/MAX Alliance Boulder

Boulder Builder Profile: Hughes Construction

Bob Hughes has been in the custom home construction business building Boulder Real Estate for almost a quarter century. Hughes has been building green homes for many years, and his work on so many green building projects, including Bruce Oreck’s Next West House in Boulder, has provided a very high level of inspiration for him.

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The culmination of Hughes’ work on built-green custom homes over the years has been realized in the most recent project, Boulder’s Next West House. Bob had a fortuitous meeting with Bruce Oreck and Boulder Architect, Jim Logan and it turned out that it was a great match.

I’ve given you two different examples of custom green building. In this profile of Hughes Construction, you get a look at Bob and Jan Hughes’ personal residence, and also the Next West house.

Some of what inspires Bob Hughes to keep his level of work at such a high quality is the ongoing enthusiastic support. All of his business comes from referrals from past client and top notch architects. Another indicator of Hughes’ professionalism and dedication to the green building community is his membership in the Boulder Green Building Guild (BGBG).

The Hughes personal residence includes many influences of Bob’s work on client projects, and a rather practical approach to green building. The Next West project is an exercise in just how far you can go green, but with an extraordinary example of how to flow architecturally into the traditional style of an historic neighborhood.

One of the challenges Hughes Construction faced with the next west house was the City of Boulder. Apparently Boulder Landmarks Board, a part of the city’s planning department, hasn’t been too keen on green features. That is, they tend to not like seeing green features such as solar panels. Consequently, when Simple Solar installed the PhotoVoltaic system it was implemented in such a way that most of the panels are not clearly visible.

Hughes worked carefully with Logan and others to overcome many challenging obstacles to build America’s greenest home. It’s the first and only LEED certified platinum, net-zero home.

Some of the important ideas that came through when talking with Hughes about his business include his willingness to give lots of credit to his wife Jan, who basically handles all of the back-end management and organization of the business, Bob’s passion for the business, and his critical attention to both aesthetic and technical details.

Bob’s comments to me about green building were insightful. What I heard him say was that while green building has many meanings for us, depending on whom you ask; there are obvious points we can all take to heart such as sustainability, efficiency, and comfort.

I’d say we have to remember that it’s good for you on many levels. As a consumer and homeowner, green building can save you money, improve your personal comfort, and give you a clear sense of reducing your impact on the environment.

Bob’s comment on green building is that it’s really future thinking. But future thinking doesn’t have to mean Jetson-esque architecture. Future thinking really means ecology, economy, and location. That certainly proves true with Bob’s projects. In fact, Bob recently quit driving a huge truck around since he’s mostly carting nothing larger than sets of blueprints, and now he drives a Honda Fit.

If you think you might have a major remodeling idea, or are ready to talk to an outstanding custom builder that has more hands on experience than perhaps any other in the industry, call or email me now, so that I can put you in touch with Hughes today.

-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker® RE/MAX Alliance Boulder