Trilogy Partners, a Frisco-based construction and design firm, has been selected from the more than 35 million SketchUp users to present its designs and build process at the international SketchUp 3D Basecamp convention in Palm Springs, California.

According to the company, Trilogy Partners will offer three separate presentations at the event, each featuring the company’s virtual design and build process. Owned by Trimble, SketchUp is a specialty software platform utilized by professionals and hobbyists to visualize and design the world in 3D, and Trilogy Partners has been using the software.

“I fell in love with SketchUp and 3D architectural design in 2012,” said Michael Rath, Trilogy Partners CEO and owner. “In just six amazing years we have leveraged their software product with our design and build experience into a package that will influence how our homes, and quite possibly all homes, are designed and built for the foreseeable future. We empower our clients to design their homes or commercial spaces in a 3D and Virtual Reality platform, so they can truly experience their space before construction.”

Rath will present the company’s virtual-design workflow with Hewlett Packard’s HP Z workstation team while Erin Pfarr, the company’s business development director, will present on how to facilitate SketchUp to optimize business. Rath and the design team will also present on how they have advanced the program beyond what even SketchUp’s engineers knew what was possible during “Extreme SketchUp.”

“The technology is exciting and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of this industry, but our main focus and inspiration is our clients and how we can best serve them,” Pfarr said. “Experiencing your custom home or commercial space while we are still in design, rather than during construction, empowers our clients to fully understand exactly what the completed project will look like and invites them to part of the process. … Clients are immersed into their home before it is built. That is revolutionary.”

For more about the company, go to to learn or find Trilogy Partners on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Article posted on Summit Daily

Going green doesn’t have to cost more. Experts at the NAHB Research Center have identified design and construction tactics that builders have used to minimize the cost premium for green.

Everyone needs to stretch a dollar these days. This is certainly true for home builders, and it’s especially true for home buyers in the entry-level, affordable, or workforce housing sectors. Green building, once widely perceived to be a luxury approach to home building, can be a viable solution for both builders and consumers in the affordable market.

Constructing a green home does come with some added costs, but a lot of builders find that green practices can actually reduce their construction costs and enhance the quality of the homes they build. Many green practices also result in operational and maintenance savings for homeowners.

Using a combination of input from builders participating in the National Green Building Certification Program and results from recent research we did for HUD on the costs and benefits of green affordable housing, the NAHB Research Center has identified seven beneficial practices to consider when building green for the affordable market.

1. Work closely with your suppliers

If you’re new to green building in general or to building green homes with a lower price point, you may want to start your journey by talking with your product suppliers.

Richmond, Va.-based First Richmond Associates has been building quality workforce housing for nearly two decades. Recently, the builder decided that going green with its homes would provide even greater value to customers and set its product apart from the competition. Susan Hadder, president of First Richmond, admits the company didn’t know much about green building, so she let her suppliers know about the new direction they were taking and asked for their help.

“A lot of them were as new to green as we were,” says Hadder, “but they were excited to help us find the best product options available from various manufacturers. It was kind of fun for everyone to discover something new.”

Hadder says she got very quick responses from all her product reps, along with some incentives, which helped her identify what the company needed to get its new green homes certified to the National Green Building Standard (ICC 700). She was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the green product options that would garner points for the home in the certification process were actually an even swap for her in terms of price.

Specifically with flooring options, she found that recycled-content carpet and padding, engineered hardwood flooring, and recycled tile for the bathrooms were all competitively priced with the products she traditionally used — some a few pennies more per unit, some a few pennies less. First Richmond now has two of their Earth-Friendly workforce homes (sales prices range from the $170,000’s to low $200,000’s) Green Certified to ICC 700 by the NAHB Research Center, and the company has plans for more.

2. Look for two-for-one green product benefits

To maximize green benefits while keeping construction costs low, use products or practices with multiple green features. For example, when specifying cabinets or cabinet materials, look for those that have low- or no-formaldehyde content and are made of recycled material. That way, you may be able to gain green certification points for both indoor environmental quality and resource efficiency. While most green rating systems won’t allow for “double dipping” on points (i.e., claiming points in more than one area for the same green attribute in the same product or practice), most will allow for multiple green attributes in the same product to be counted across multiple point categories.

3. Don’t forget about water efficiency

In our work with HUD, we found that water efficiency improvements for both new and renovated affordable projects are commonly overlooked even though they offer a quantifiable benefit to homeowners for little to no additional construction cost. Be sure not to discount the cost benefits for affordable clients of low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads, as well as rated water-saving appliances.

As for finding the products at an affordable price, there is a much wider array of low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads on the market today than even five years ago, and the most basic models are cost neutral with comparable non-low-flow fixtures. Most major plumbing product manufacturers now offer these products, eliminating the need for costly special orders, in most cases. With bathroom sink faucets, even if your manufacturer of choice doesn’t make a low-flow version, you can buy replacement aerators that satisfy the requirements of most national green rating systems for around $2 a piece.

New construction on the Goose Pasture Tarn in Blue River, Colorado outside of Breckenridge.


4. Consider alternative framing techniques

Some changes in your framing materials or techniques might provide both cost/time savings and a means to an end in securing points toward green certification. For instance, consider using panels or trusses in lieu of site-built systems. These techniques are labor and resource efficient, resulting in less on-site waste and possibly lower labor and materials cost overall. Fabricated systems often create greater thermal efficiency over stick frames. Many green rating systems, including the National Green Building Standard, also award points for use of panels and trusses.

If you want to continue framing totally on site, there are several optimum value engineering (OVE) techniques that can save on material or labor costs, and can generate green points at the same time. Look into options like:

  • Ladder blocking — uses less wood; provides more room for insulation; gets green points
  • Two-stud corners — at least one less stud at each corner; allows for more fully insulated corner; gets green points
  • Switch from 2x4s at 16 inches on center to 2x6s at 24 inches on center — may result in small increase in incremental cost initially, but gets a lot of green bang for your buck.

5. Explore low-cost strategies with design

Green, at any price point, is not accomplished through product selection alone. Many of the other “ingredients” for a green home involve strategies that can cost very little or nothing at all. For example, depending on the orientation and size of your lot, flipping a house plan is a very low-cost, low-effort activity that can result in green benefits like positioning the majority of windows on the south side of a home for passive solar and natural lighting gains.

6. Pay attention to placement and sizing of hvac and plumbing systems

Optimize your duct runs and centrally locate your mechanical room for material cost savings and increased energy efficiency. Even for smaller homes, be sure not to have more ducts or longer duct runs than you need in any part of the house. Using a central return also reduces material costs and is a simple system that can provide adequate circulation and cost savings to both you and your buyers.

Placing all your HVAC equipment, including ducts, in conditioned space within the home is also beneficial. In addition to creating significant energy savings for homeowners, this practice may also allow you to spec smaller, less-expensive HVAC equipment and limit or eliminate the need for additional insulation for the duct system. Many homes today, even those that may be otherwise energy and resource efficient, have oversized HVAC equipment. As the building envelope of your homes becomes tighter and more energy efficient, the HVAC burden is significantly reduced. A smaller system obviously costs less and could offset other green upgrades you’re making in your homes.

For your plumbing system, make sure you have chosen the most efficient design for your purposes. For multi-story homes, consider a stacked system, which will probably require shorter plumbing runs, less piping, and possibly less labor time from your plumbing contractor. Also consider centrally locating your water heater, as a central location makes the average of every run shorter, thereby reducing material costs.

7. Rely on green design professionals

Green homes often require a higher degree of precision in their design and construction to ensure that the finished product works the way it was designed to work, as a whole house relying on interdependent systems for its optimum efficiency and homeowner comfort. Having experts well versed in green products, practices, and protocols can save you thousands of dollars in trial-and-error and callbacks in the long run.

That being said, there are different ways to go about creating your design team. One way is to seek out experts in areas such as mechanical systems, plumbing design, and landscape architecture, with specific expertise in green building practices. Another tactic is to rally those with whom you already work to the pursuit of greener, more efficient homes. Similar to the enthusiasm and excitement Susan Hadder generated with her suppliers when First Richmond began seeking green solutions, you may generate the same kind of interest with your existing construction partners to learn all they can and contribute. Either way, it’s important to get everyone in your construction chain on the same page with what you’re trying to accomplish. Contractors and suppliers that are not informed can create inadvertent barriers to your ultimate success.

More information and technical detail about these techniques can be found on the Research Center’s technical website,

Created in 1964, the NAHB Research Center ( is a full-service product commercialization company that strives to make housing more durable, affordable, and efficient. The Research Center provides public and private clients with an unrivaled depth of understanding of the housing industry and access to its business leaders.

Source : Professional Builder

Extreme remodel on the Goose Pasture Tarn in Blue River, Colorado

Did you know that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims about 40 to 50 percent of wood from demolished buildings can be reused in new construction? While in the past there were limited ways to recycle wood in the United States, it’s becoming a more common practice because there are so many ways recycled wood can be used by builders.

One of our favorite reclaimed timber projects was Trey Parker’s Steamboat Springs home. In his home, we used timbers that had been salvaged from a railroad bridge that had at one time covered a part of the Great Salt Lake, much to the delight of local wildlife who thought the salted timbers were dessert. Using reclaimed timber was a great choice to create the look that was desired for this home, as well as a way to continue in our efforts of creating an environmentally friendly home.

Reclaimed timber beams are also a great choice because aged wood is seasoned, which means it is more stable than newly cut wood. Along with using reclaimed timber beams, wood that has is historic, recycled, or reclaimed can also be used for flooring and walls in new construction. Recycled wood can also be useful as garden or yard art, or to create new furniture. Using reclaimed and recycled wood doesn’t have to stop at the framing of a home.

Here at Trilogy Partners, we strive to be as environmentally responsible as possible in our building practices. Using reclaimed timber and recycled wood is just one way we achieve that goal.

Reclaimed Timber Frame house

Creating a green home design is a not only a great way to help reduce your environmental footprint, it’s also a fantastic way to introduce a unique aesthetic to your home. The following are a few ideas for upcycling, which involves repurposing different elements for new home design features:


Source: Houzz

  • Backyard bathhouse – Build a luxurious little bathhouse outside of your home using your old claw foot tub and build a small roof above it – complete with a rolling bamboo privacy screen.
  • Sliding barn door – If you have multiple uses for a pair of bookcases, use a sliding barn door to cover up one side when the other is in use. This is a great way to hide your electronics in your room’s design.
  • Ladder shelf – Have an old ladder out in your shed that you never use? Attach it horizontally to your wall and use the rungs as book ends for your books! You can even paint the ladder whatever color you want to fit your interior design.

Use these ideas for inspiration in order to repurpose old objects for your green home design. For additional information on green home design, contact us at Trilogy Builds today.

Making sure that you limit your environmental footprint as much as possible is an important consideration to make when designing a new home. There are a lot of green building techniques that you can implement in order to achieve this. One that we highly recommend that you look into is superinsulation.



The main idea behind superinsulation is to reduce heat loss and heat gain by creating a much more airtight building design than what is normal while also using much higher levels of insulation. Homes that make use of superinsulation tend to incorporate details that ensure the continuity of insulation where the walls meet the foundations, roofs, and other walls. Although the insulation levels are usually quite high, the house has to be airtight, especially around the windows and doors, in order for the insulation to be as effective as possible. To complement a superinsulation system, a very small conventional heating system is often used in addition to a heat recovery ventilation system, which helps to provide fresh air to the home.

Superinsulation is definitely something that you should consider when designing your home. For additional information and advice, be sure to contact us at Trilogy Builds today.

When it comes to making your bathroom a more eco-friendly place, finding ways to conserve water isn’t the only thing that you can do. In addition to installing low-flow faucets, why not install an eco-friendly bathroom sink as well? The following are some of the more environmentally friendly sink options you can choose from:

  • Salvaged sink – Pick up anything bowl-like and salvage it as a sink. All you have to do is have a hole drilled in it for the drain.
  • Cement sink – Have your sink poured in place using cast-in-place concrete. You can make your cement sink more eco-friendly by adding recycled aggregates such as porcelain or glass.
  • Wood sink – As long as the wood was salvaged or the source was certified by the FSC (forest stewardship council), then it’s a great eco-friendly option.
  • Rubber sink – For a real unique touch to your bathroom space, consider a rubber sink. There are manufacturers that produce sinks made from recycled rubber tires, which are stretched over a base frame to help form a sink.

If you’re looking for different energy efficient home features to make your bathroom more sustainable, then consider one of these eco-friendly sink options. Contact us for more ideas and information.

Source: via Trilogy Partners

Source: via Trilogy Partners

LEED homes have come a long way in recent years as a number of significant changes have been made. The trends in green home design have seen a lot of progress, transforming into what you see before you today. What are these changes though, and how can they best benefit you?

  • The great thing about LEED homes is that they are far more realistic in their goals, whilst allowing you to achieve your ideal vision.
  • Sustainable treatments are the main methods used during their construction, meaning that they’re more innovative, as well as cheaper too.
  • A quality LEED home will contribute to its surrounding environment as they each give something back. This could be either a rural landscape, or even the architecture of an urban setting.
  • LEED homes should be set in the style of their surroundings.

There’s plenty more progress expected from within this particular area of green home design. For more information, or for any other enquiries, then get in contact with an expert today to see how they can help you.

Green buildings refer to buildings built to reduce their impact on the environment. Common examples include buildings with superior insulation, buildings built using sustainable building materials, and buildings filled with efficient features.

Green building design


According to the U.S. Green Building Council, 4.3 million Americans either live or work in a building that has received its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. At present, an impressive 44 percent of commercial and institutional buildings under construction in the United States have received the same, which is predicted to rise to about 50 percent by 2016.

The U.S. Green Building Council believes that this increase is happening because more and more people are realizing that green building practices help them save on costs. Furthermore, as interest continues to grow, the government is beginning to recognize the benefits to the national economy. As a result, the trend is predicted to strengthen in the near future as government support increases.

Prospective homeowners and other Colorado residents interested in learning more about green home design should contact Trilogy Builds to speak to one of our representatives.

If you’re looking to add a luxurious feature to your home that also happens to be a great universal design, then a wetroom could be perfect for you. A wetroom is basically a bathroom with a drain in the floor or an open shower room without any barriers to climb over. The following are a few elements you should consider for your wetroom design.

  • Use Texture and Patterns – You can make a smaller wetroom look spacious by using cohesive patterns and horizontal strips in your wetroom’s tile design.
  • Install a Seat – Having a place to sit in your wetroom gives you more flexibility with how you use it. Not to mention that it’s another universal design element that will help individuals who are physically limited to use the wetroom.
  • Use Glass – To separate the wet area from the dry area in your wetroom, consider using a glass panel. This creates a clear division without sacrificing any visual space.
  • Use Flexible Fixtures – Install shower heads on the ceiling as well as a hand shower at sitting level for additional flexibility.

These are just a few elements that you should strongly consider implementing in your wetroom design. For more information be sure to contact us at Trilogy Partners today!

Trilogy Partners is always busy continuing to learn more about new developments in green home design. Our continued efforts benefit our customers with new ideas that can be incorporated into the energy saving design of their new home.

Recent lessons we have learned lessons from the three finalists of the From the Ground Up green home competition in Syracuse. These affordable green homes have taught us much about incorporating some exciting features that will drastically increase energy efficiency from the ground up during the building process.

By adhering to principles of Passive House as the From the Ground Up finalists did, we realize the importance of incorporating passive energy savings elements. These features include south facing windows and increased air tightness through higher R-values in insulation and framing design. Being these features were subjected to the harsh winters in Syracuse, this makes them extremely suited for green house design in our Colorado Mountain area.

There are always more lessons to learn when it comes to saving energy through design and Trilogy will continue to study the latest innovations for the benefit of their clients.

965 N Ten Mile Dr. , Unit A1 Frisco, CO 80443
Phone: 970-453-2230

Email: information at trilogybuilds dot com
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