Trilogy Partners is proud to be producing a forum as part of the Breckenridge Film Festival on Saturday, September 23!

“Merging of Entertainment and Design” brings together top industry leaders from tech, design and film to discuss how technology advances from 3D Modeling to Virtual technologies are reshaping their careers and our lives. Screen the Colorado-based short film “Who I Am” about immigrant and first generation students in Ft. Morgan, CO. Try out the brand new, not even on the market yet (!!) HP Z VR Backpacks and tour a home through Augmented Reality.

If you are interested in technology, home design and construction, filmmaking, 3D modeling and visualization or the impact that we can have on our community development planning, then this is the place to be on Saturday, September 23.

Location: South Branch Library in the Hopeful and Discovery Rooms at 103 S Harris Street in Breckenridge, CO

Date: Saturday, September 23 from 4-6pm

Email to reserve your VIP spot as seating is limited. RSVP and share the event on Facebook.


Amy Hoeven is from a small rural town on the eastern plains and is a fourth generation native of Colorado. After she graduated from CSU in 1995 with a degree in Liberal Arts, she used her Communications and Technical Journalism training to pursue a career in communications and community outreach in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In 2010, Amy was named Young Professional of the Year by the Fort Collins area Chamber of Commerce. Amy understands the importance of storytelling and believes everyone’s story adds value to their communities. In 2017, she was the Executive Producer of Who I Am, a Virtual Reality documentary film showcasing the work of first-generation CSU students mentoring immigrant and refugee high school students in Fort Morgan. Her ability to observe the environment around her, interact with people and recognize human connections allows her to be a compassionate and active member of society.

Jim Zafarana was with HP as Vice President and General Manager, Global Head of Workstations, Thin Clients, and Commercial Immersive, part of HP’s Personal Systems. In this role, he was responsible for business, innovation, and product strategy and execution, including Product Development, Product Management, and go-to-market strategy across the Workstations & Thin Clients worldwide. Prior to this role, Zafarana was Vice President and General Manager for the Workstation Global Business Unit, responsible for HP’s Workstation business in all market segments worldwide. Jim also has served as Vice President, Worldwide Marketing for HP’s Workstation business.

Kaden Strand is the CEO and founder of Blue Penguin VR, a custom solutions company blending software engineering, creative design, and practical problem solving to impact enterprise adoption and novel research for modern virtual and augmented reality technologies. Previously, Kaden led the cross-disciplinary Virtual Reality Initiative at Colorado State University to utilize immersive technology across research, curriculum, and outreach efforts under the CSU Vice President for Research.

Kyle Rasmussen had a dream to use his skills in journalism and media production to tell stories that could make an impact by allowing people to step into the shoes of others around the world. Kyle decided if BlueShoe Media was going to be telling stories around the world, that is exactly how it should start. He assembled a team of passionate students at Colorado State University to join him on a mission to film a full-feature documentary in India. This documentary about widows, would open the doors to a tremendous journey and make way for the dream to allow creatives with a passion to tell stories to have a place to create freely. Kyle has a heart for telling great stories and a passion for connecting with people through empathy. His dedication, commitment, and vision to tell meaningful stories is unparalleled.

Lindsey Stapay’s entrepreneurial spirit has guided many small and mid-size companies and not-for-profit organizations to not only realize their goals, but surpass expectations on many levels. Stapay has a wide-reaching vision for developing and delivering organizational messages and projects that, combined with her boundless energy and innovative ideas, makes her the perfect moderator for our discussion. Stapay graduated from Colorado State University’s 1st Construction Management and Built Environment Green Home Certificate Program. Since then she has been apart of some of the largest real estate development deals in Downtown Denver through her real estate brokerage firm of 10 years.

Michael Brightman has gained major industry recognition with his  book, “The SketchUp Workflow for Architecture” — a guide that outlines his proprietary techniques and processes for using SketchUp Pro in every phase of the professional design process. Mike also created the highly popular ConDoc Tools for SketchUp Pro extension, which expedites the creation of construction documents in SketchUp Pro. At Brightman Designs, Mike’s goal is to provide his customers with core support services based on real-world design expertise, advanced visualization resources, and collaborative training.

Michael Rath is the CEO of Trilogy Partners and has been designing and building homes in the high country and beyond for over 20 years. His Project Management Modeling process is becoming nationally recognized as revolutionizing the design and build experience for clients by giving them back creativity, power and cost control through visualization and precise project management.










Trilogy Partners is proud to be a part of the vibrant Breckenridge community and the people that call this region home. We are also incredibly proud of the work of Michael Rath, one of our managing partners, and the global charity he co-founded called Haiti Orphan Rescue Program. Michael works with an accomplished team in an effort to help revitalize distressed Haitian orphanages through grassroots solutions.

Haiti Orphan Rescue partnered with their sister organization Union of Haitian Orphanages for Action. This collaboration allows Michael and the team at Haiti Orphan Rescue Program to identify distressed orphanages desperately in need of upgrades and modernization. Through grassroots efforts the two organizations learn what the orphanages need before establishing a renovation plan. Orphanages have received a  variety of improvements, including raised garden beds, storage solutions, play structures, upgraded plumbing, roof repairs, and composting toilets.

What makes the work of Haiti Orphan Rescue Program so unique is the local approach. Local laborers are hired for the construction work and a vast majority of materials are purchased locally. This allows the benefit of the work to extend past the orphanage walls. You can learn more about the program from the Haiti Orphan Rescue Program website or Facebook page.

Michael Rath, Managing Partner of Trilogy Partners, has been named by the Breckenridge Town Council to the post of Planning Commissioner. Michael joins 6 other Planning Commissioners who lead the Breckenridge Department of Community Development. Michael’s term runs through 2014. “I’m honored to have been selected,” said Michael. “And I look forward with great anticipation to having a role in the planning and development decisions that will shape the future of this really wonderful town. Breckenridge is poised to become a mountain leader in the evolution of sustainable design and development and I am especially happy to bring passion and experience to assist the town in meeting its green objectives.”

As many of you know, I made a commitment to Haitian orphanages after the earthquake of January 2010 and soon after found myself in Haiti with my friend Mike Mahon, rebuilding an orphanage. I stayed for three weeks and I can tell you, the time flew by and when we left, 30 kids and caregivers had safe electricity, running water and flush toilets, brightly painted walls, mosquito-free screened in sleeping areas, and wonder of all wonders, internet access. Now some of the kids have Facebook pages and we regularly connect through the internet. We decided to call our organization Haiti Orphan Rescue Program because, indeed, there are between 500,000 and 1,000,000 orphans and displaced children in Haiti and most of them live in conditions from which they need rescue.

The amount of paperwork needed to start a non-profit in the U.S. is quite formidable, but we’ve achieved our tax exempt status and have been taking donations. We’ve raised enough money, finally, to return to Haiti at the end of March. During this short stay we’ll be looking at several orphanage projects, choosing which one will be our next. We’ll also be solidifying our relationship HORP Logowith the organization we helped found, Union Des Orphelinos Haitian en Action (Union of Haitian Orphanages in Action) so that they may continue to grow their roster of orphanages. Once we have chosen our next project we will return to Haiti, hopefully in May, to rebuild and rehabilitate another children’s shelter.

I am frequently asked why I chose Haiti and its children as my mission. Haiti had an earthquake, and lost many of its buildings. Many of the  remaining buildings need rehabilitation. So there’s is a lot of work in Haiti for people like me who know how to build. Organizational and management work, because Haiti has plenty of labor. That labor just needs supervision to tackle the millions of projects that Haiti needs to undertake in the near future. Projects that are essential to Haiti’s recovery and growth so that it may emerge as a stable, modern nation. I felt, and many share my conviction, that the children of Haiti are its future. And many of those children live in very bad places under terrible conditions. Kids were particularly vulnerable when the earthquake hit. So I decided to focus on orphaned and displaced children. Mike and I are basically builders who have taken what we know to another country to help kids. It’s really that simple. But we are not alone. We are well supported by our newly elected Board of Directors. Yes, we plan to grow HORP because if the last year has shown us anything, it’s shown us that our approach really has a positive impact on the Haitian children with whom we have had contact.

We are thrilled to be going back at the end of March. I encourage you to visit the HORP website website and blog to learn more about Haiti Orphan Rescue Program.

People will see one of my projects for the first time and well, I get this question a lot. “Where did you get your ideas?” they’ll ask. The simple answer is that first, I got inspired. And then, from somewhere, ideas started to fly in. But first comes inspiration. And it always happens. With every project. Because it has to if I’m to do my job and design the best house I know how.

Inspiration. I cannot over exaggerate the importance of inspiration as part of the creative process. Because inspiration brings passion. Integrity and honesty. Originality. And utility to every project. And long after I’m gone, inspiration stays behind to greet the homeowner, their family, and their guests ever time they enter the house. Or wake up in the morning. Inspiration is forever.

As to how the inspiration comes, the process usually goes something like this: I start thinking about the client. I ponder their… well their humanity, as strange as that may sound.  What is this house going to mean to them. Usually the house is a dream… something they’ve been wanting their entire lives. It’s an ambition that has survived through time, through years. Often this house represents sacrifice and certainly a measure of success. I’ll even ask the client, “what does this house mean to you?” Usually, it means a whole lot. Enough, on occasion, to make eyes well with tears. There is a story behind every house because there is a story behind the people who want to build it and each story is uniquely, beautifully human. It is from that seed of humanity that I feel the need, and a commitment, to help my client achieve their goals.  I feel inspired as my clients’ dreams become mine. And from that inspiration comes a passion that infuses the process with energy and originality.

Top Ten Reasons Why Design and Build Simply Works Better

The Steamboat Project was Design Build

  1. Comprehensive budget – prepared by experienced number crunchers who are intimate with every phase of the project from planning through design to construction and interior design.
  2. Beginning to end supervision – One entity supervises the project from inception to completion creating continuity and project expertise.
  3. Seamless multi-disciplined integration – All the necessary disciplines (architecture, planning, engineering, construction, interior design) are housed under the same roof and answer to the same authority creating simplified workflow.
  4. Single entity accountability –  If something ain’t right, one entity is responsible for correcting the supervision and has the authority to do it.
  5. Breadth of knowledge – The team is experienced in all phases of a homebuilding project, not just a particular discipline. The result is a synergistic knowledge base.
  6. Parallel track design and construction – During design, construction budget, timeframe, and  logistical issues are examined while during construction, design changes can be readily implemented.
  7. Design guidance and input – Builder sits at the design table. Who better to provide relevant design guidance than someone experienced in homebuilding.
  8. Budgetary input during design – A builder intimate with the design process can provide cost management advice during the design phase.
  9. Proven team member/players – The team members know each other well having worked on many projects together
  10. Accessibility – The client always has access to the entire team through any single team member.

Note: Design and Build projects by Trilogy Partners include Caleb’s Journey, Rounds Road, Calecho, Steamboat, Kauai, and others featured in the project gallery.

Design Rendering of Trilogy Design Build Project "Calecho"

Trilogy is a Design Build residential construction company. But just what is Design Build?

What It Isn’t

Let me answer that question by first giving and example of what Design Build is not. Suppose you want to build your dream home (or any home, for that matter.) What’s the first thing you do? Right, buy a lot. So you contact a real estate agent who helps you find a lot. Now you own a lot. It may be , in industry parlance, a highly build-able lot. Or it may require expensive infrastructure that you weren’t counting on. You’ll find that out later on. Okay, still you own the lot. Now you need someone to design a house for the lot. Taking a deep breath you initiate an interview process and then hire an architect. An engineer. And you may or may not need other specialists or someone to help with planning, building permits and all the other details necessary before you can even begin to build. Then you need to hire a builder. You audition a bunch of builders. You may ask for a bid from each one. The bid is based on a budget based on the drawings the architect and engineer have produced. Some of the bids are low, some high. Some of the builders say the plans are adequate for construction. Others say the plans are inadequate and they  need more information, something the architect disputes. So you lay awake at night. Which builder do you hire? One builder says your lot will be difficult to build on. Another says it’s a piece of cake. Do you hire the lowest bid? What if a builder with a fantastic reputation comes in at a higher price. Is he worth the extra money? And then a couple of the builders say they don’t like fixed price budgets and that their clients prefer Cost Plus contracts and budgets. What are they talking about? The one thing you know for sure. Every builder, the architect, the engineer, the interior designer, everyone associated with the project seems to have a different opinion about every question you ask.

This is not Design Build. Design Build proposes a completely different organizational structure.

What It Is

With Design Build the client engages one entity to oversee the entirety of the home building project to include but not limited to lot choice, planning, architectural design and interior design. The Design Builder puts together an experienced team and facilitates the interaction between the design and build project participants. Architecture, Engineering, Planning, Construction, Interior Design, Interior Decorating integrate seamlessly around the table provided by the Design Builder. Most Design Builders will even suggest that they take a roll in helping the client and the real estate professional secure the best lot. The Design Builder is the party responsible for the successful outcome of the project.  The Design Builder is the bottom line when it comes to cost or labor or timeline. The Design Builder helps the home owner establish a responsible budget amount, and then governs the process so that the owner reaches budgetary goals. And architectural goals. And goals that include time frame and completion dates. A good Design Builder even advises the client with issues concerning project impact and sustainability. The Design Builder is the owner’s partner in the design and construction of the home. The Design builder supplies all the manpower, materials, and know how needed to build the home. Design Build not only offers the client a degree of integration, fiduciary responsibility, and efficiency that is atypical of the conventional “design then engineer then build” construction process. But Design build offers the homeowner client an unmatched level of security, commitment and accountability as well.

Trilogy Partner’s Design and Build approach results in successful projects. Its strong and enduring client relationships proves the worth of Design Build as a management process. Visit the Project Gallery to see examples of Trilogy Design Build projects.

Boiler Room with Geothermal Heat Exchange System

From earlier writings we described the environmental commitment of Breckenridge homeowner Kyle M. to build an 8,000 sq. ft. luxury zero energy home. We continue today with the inside story of this net zero home. This writing focuses on the renewable energy systems chosen including solar electric and geo-exchange, along with an integrated lighting and electronics program that dually functions as an energy management system. Once Ambient Energy produced the energy modeling for the 8,000 sq. ft. home, the engineering and building team went to work to choose materials that would conserve as much energy as possible. Step one: Design and build a tight well-insulated energy-efficient home. Step two: Incorporate renewable energy and smart-home control systems geared to energy conservation.

The environmental heating and cooling solutions for the Breckenridge Timber Trail home demonstrate a high degree of integration among experienced professionals not unlike the workings of a well trained sports team. This team’s goal: design and install an efficient geo exchange heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system to provide 100 percent of the home’s space heating needs with a natural gas boiler backing up system. First up to bat was Barry Engleman of George T. Sanders Companyof Silverthorne. George T. Sanders did the heat calculations for the home to determine how much radiant floor tubing was needed to keep the house warming properly even down to 20 degrees below zero. Engleman designed the layout and Tekmar control systems that control the radiant floor hydronic system. Next to bat was Eric Atcheson of E.W.A. Mechanical Inc. based in Silverthorne. E.W.A worked closely with Engleman, and was responsible for the home’s plumbing, heating, and automated Tekmar control systems. Following Engleman’s layout and his own expertise, Atcheson installed the plumbing system for domestic hot water production, radiant floor heat tubes to supply heating for the home, and the optional snowmelt system for the driveway. The house received two high efficiency boilers that integrate with the ground source heat pumps and ensure the home’s comfort on the coldest of Breckenridge nights. Our third and fourth batters were Jim Dexter from Summit Professionals of Silverthorne and Bob Major of Major Heating and Cooling in Wheat Ridge. The two companies managed the installation and integration of the ground source geo exchange heating and cooling system, heat pumps, air handling and humidification. Summit Professionals designed systems and duct work to provide a fresh supply of air to the home and comfortable environment. Dexter installed an integrated air handling, humidification and Energy Recovery Ventilator which gives the homeowner complete control over the indoor environment. The Breckenridge home receives 100 percent of its space heating and summer cooling from a geothermal heat pump system. Geo exchange uses the constant 50 to 55 degree temperature of the earth to warm the home when it is cold outside and to cool the home on hot days. Before excavation of the home, the geo exchange wells were drilled. Major Heating and Geothermal in conjunction with Can-America Drilling Inc., installs a closed loop system consisting of 19 boreholes, each 300 ft deep, around the foundation and under the driveway.

Solar PV System

Photovoltaic Panels

SolSource, Inc., a solar engineering and installation firm based in Denver, was engaged to design and install the solar photovoltaic system, through their partnership with Breckenridge-based Colorado Building Company.

The Making of Breckenridge’s First Custom Net Zero Home

Dave Lyskawa, Sol-Source VP of Residential Sales, met the homeowner’s goal of designing a solar electric system that provides 100 percent of the home’s electrical needs. For phase one, SolSource installed a 9.89 kW solar PV array. The solar energy installation consists of 43 SolarWorld 230-watt panels with black frames. SolarWorld modules are 100 percent manufactured in the U.S. The solar panels are connected to Enphase micro inverters and an Enphase energy management unit which provides 24/7 system monitoring. Enphase increased the energy production of the solar array by maximizing the energy generated by each individual solar panel. SolSource also selected Enphase to allow for system expandability and is pre-wiring the home for an additional 7 kW system in phase two. The energy produced by the 9.89 kW array prevents an estimated 29,907 pounds of C02 from entering the atmosphere every year.

Lighting and Energy Management Systems

A final component to creating Breckenridge’s first custom net zero home was integrated lighting, energy management, and whole house automation system. Players were Chad Ballard of Paradigm Systems, Inc. based in Denver using the Vantage Control system and Daniel Stern with Electronics by Design in Broomfield. All lighting fixtures installed were evaluated for functionality and energy efficiency. “We focus on correct color, intensity, dimming and usage of the lights required in a luxury residence, while ensuring that the house is performing at the minimum energy consumption,” said Ballard. The Vantage system was chosen for its ability to provide automated and remote control of the home’s lights, HVAC, shades, fans, audio/ video and home theater distribution systems, security through sensors, timers, keypads and energy consumption meters. Lights in high use rooms were programmed with occupancy sensors that turn on when some one enters the room at a set intensity and turn off when motion is no longer detected after a set time interval. This simple house-wide lighting/motion sensor system enables the homeowner to masterfully manage the home’s electricity usage and significantly conserve energy. This Breckenridge residence is likely the “smartest home” in town. If homeowner Kyle wants to, he can press a button on his cell phone as he is driving up to his mountain chateau and engage a “Welcome” mode. With one button the lights turn on, the blinds go up, the garage door opens, and music begins to play.

When Breckenridge homeowner Kyle M. decided to build a Net Zero home in Breckenridge, he knew the process could be daunting – but he was up for the challenge. He cared enough about reducing his energy usage that he searched and found an experienced team of Summit County professionals who would commit to his goal of building a zero energy home.

As we mentioned in our story yesterday, when our Breckenridge homeowner purchased his lot on Timber Trail Road, he knew that the overall design of the home would need to fit into the upscale theme of the Timber Trail neighborhood. Bringing the experience of having successfully reduced the energy consumption in his 10,000 sq. ft. Boulder home, he found a green building development team that could design and build a custom 8,000 sq. ft. home which would be as energy efficient as possible. Kyle selected Trilogy Partners of Breckenridge who were already well known for their expertise in designing luxury homes, interior design and construction management while incorporating environmental solutions and features into houses.

What follows is the journey of the home starting from the inside and covering the home’s energy modeling, insulation and framing.

Energy Modeling

First challenge: how to work with a and intricate architectural design and meet the goal of Zero Energy. Among the first professionals engaged for the Breckenridge Net Zero Home was Andy Walker and Renee Azerbegi of Ambient Energy of Denver. Ambient developed a net zero energy model which provided an analysis of how much energy is needed to power the home’s lighting, heating, coolingand other daily living needs. “Our greatest challenge was making a significantly-sized home energy efficient and renewably powered,” said Renee of Ambient Energy. “Based on the energy efficiency and net zero energy modeling and analysis, we determined how to reduce the life cycle energy use of the home and save over $58,000 in energy costs over the life of the home. We used an hourly energy use simulation model to calculate how to provide 100 percent of the house’s energy use from on-site renewable energy systems,” said Walker of Ambient Energy. The energy report recommended a combination of a large solar electric PV array along with a geo exchange system for space heating.

Framing and Insulation

However, before the team focused on the renewable energy systems it was important to make the home as energy efficient as possible to reduce the need for additional energy in the first place. The team turned to Joe Sundquist of Sundquist Design Group, Inc. in Conifer, Colorado. “To address the owner and builder’s desire to make this building energy efficient, we wanted to minimize unnecessary framing, while allow for increased insulation wherever possible,” said Sundquist. The home design utilizes manufactured lumber products purchased through The Breckenridge Building Center. Heavy timber members were used to create the structural framing system. Exposed wood beams were functioning as structural support elements to minimize redundancy within the framing system. Boise Cascade engineered wood products were chosen for framing purposes. Engineered wood products eliminate the waste associated with inconsistencies found in traditional wood products and typically uses only half of the wood fiber compared to ordinary lumber. “Boise engineered floor joists are 54 percent stronger and 33 percent stiffer than traditional lumber, yet use 48 percent less wood fiber, “said Jeff Sexton out of Boise Cascade’s Denver office. “The stronger engineered lumber allowed for increased stud spacing and greater insulation coverage,” said Sexton. By increasing the distance between the studs, the home was able to have approximately 30 percent more insulation.

Once the framing was complete Shane Aschan, owner of The Foamers, Inc. based in Silverthorne, Colorado, managed the insulation process. To ensure the inside of the structure was insulated to the highest degree possible and that the in-floor radiant heat would perform efficiently, Aschan sprayed a high density closed cell foam insulation with an R-value of R 14 under all slabs of the home before the concrete was poured. The Foamers insulated the exterior walls of the home with 3 to 3 1/2 inches of polyurethane closed cell foam with an R value of R 21 and insulated the roof with 6 1/2 inches of polyure- thane closed cell foam with an R value of R 40. “One of the building criteria we needed to meet was to produce an even flat surface of the finished foam to help the other subcontractors do their work efficiently,” said Aschan. Continuing on the insulation, Colorado Building Company insulated the exterior of the home using Dow Building Solutions Styrofoam Residential Sheathing. “One square foot of properly installed Styrofoam insulation of one inch thick can avert over one ton of CO2 emissions during the average life of a building,” said Karen Durfee, senior account manager with Dow Building Solutions, based in Denver.

More tomorrow on the Breckenridge home’s renewable energy systems and how an automatic lighting program functions as an energy management system.

John and I built our first house for ourselves. Then we sold it, bought land and built another. We know how to build homes. We also know what it is like to be a client. To be the one for whom the house is being built. On that first house, Woodhouse Post and Beam manufactured and erected the Timber Frame and the panel walls for the home. We were their client. We hire architects and engineers on every project. We are the client. We are the client of the guy who delivers the Port-O-Let. We are the clients of the banker, the attorney, and the plumber and electrician. We know how it feels to be a client. You’re either serviced well, and really feel that you matter to the service provider or supplier. Or you feel like you don’t matter and you should have taken your business elsewhere. We know this feeling. What it feels like to pay money to someone who doesn’t seem to value your business.  It’s a terrible feeling. It’s just plain wrong. Which is why, at Trilogy, John and I and every person who works here is committed to an extraordinary level of service. Our clients are the people for whom we design and build. To us, they are the most important people in our business lives. And we never forget that. How it feels to be a client. To us, the client really matters. And making the client happy is what makes our job fulfilling.

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