As prices of heating oil, propane, and electricity continue to rise, even more commercial business and residential owners, municipalities and schools are changing to geothermal ground source heating and cooling to create a more sustainable design in their buildings. Geothermal heat exchange systems use only a third of the energy required for propane or fuel and produce no harmful emissions.

geothermal heating systems

What is geothermal heat exchange?

Geothermal exchange involves harnessing the underground temperature of the earth for heating and cooling purposes. While air temperatures above-ground range from sub-zero to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, underground temperature is reasonably constant, varying from no more than 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Geothermal exchange systems use heat pumps for heating and cooling due to their extreme efficiency. Unlike HVAC systems, heat pumps move rather than generate heat. However, traditional heat pumps cannot move heat easily when temperatures are lower than 30 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are usually fitted with a supplemental heater. This problem is solved when a geothermal exchange is used in place of air exchange.

With a sustainable design, geothermal exchange systems are more energy efficient, meaning lower energy costs and it’s no wonder so many people are switching to this heating and cooling alternative.

Share your thoughts on the system in the comments section below.

Image: This Old House

We love mixing styles to create memorable spaces.  Pairing antique furnishings with contemporary lines can really enhance the aesthetic look of a room, but if done improperly it can upset the balance.

CasaSugar has provided some tips you should keep in mind when bringing these two very different design styles together.

  • Give them something in common. Qualities like a similar silhouette, texture or material can bridge the gap between two very different items.
  • Think about proportion. If a piece is very bold, either place it alongside less showy items to let it make a statement; or harmonize with similarly-proportioned pieces.
  • Add context. Details matter…from the right-hued frame for artwork to the color of the wall behind it. Getting these little things right makes a surprisingly big difference.

What do you think about mixing styles? Share your thoughts below.

It seems that JFK’s iconic Terminal 6, designed by the brilliant architect I.M. Pei, will be destined to the same unfortunate fate as many other important buildings before it here in the United States.  Terminal 6 was built in 1970 as the National Airlines Sundrome. It’s most recent occupant was JetBlue Airways, which vacated the building back in 2008.

For years the once famous terminal sat empty, waiting for the day that the Port Authority would begin its demolition. It seems that the time is finally here. Despite pleas from both the design community and preservationists, I.M. Pei’s Terminal 6 is becoming a thing of the past.

Henry Cobb, a colleague of Pei, recently told the New York Times that the terminal was still “structurally sound and has proved highly adaptable to changing demands throughout four decades of use.” He even pleaded with David Barger, president and chief executive of JetBlue, for a “reversal of this death sentence.” He further went on to write that by saving Terminal 6 it would “further strengthen the distinctive identity of JetBlue as a sponsor of design excellence and an effective advocate for a sustainable future. ”

Another advocate for saving the terminal is Geoffrey Arend, founder and editor of the trade publication Air Cargo News. He recently said that “It represents an era of aviation.”

Already the concourses and boarding gates of Terminal 6 have been destroyed and it looks like the main pavilion will soon come to the same fate.

Photo via New York Times

Today Copper and Keystone mountain opened for ski season and like many in the Breck area, we know what we will be doing this weekend! Always two of the first mountains to open in Colorado, Copper and Keystone are great places to stretch your legs before the opening of Breckenridge, which is a week away. With 55% of our runs on Breck classified as black, you’ll want to put your best foot forward.

This ski season Breckenridge will celebrate its 50th anniversary, it’s actual birthday falling on Friday, December 16th. In its 50th year existence Breckenridge has become one of the world’s most popular ski destinations. That’s right, we said world’s.

The town of Breckenridge has put together some interesting facts on their first 50 years that we wanted to share with you.

• Breck has received approximately 17,500 inches of snow (1,416 feet) since the resort opened in 1961.
• Breck has welcomed visitors from all 50 US states and over 60 different countries, cementing the resort as truly a global destination.
• Breck has hosted approximately 39 million skiers and snowboarders since 1961 (the first season featured around 17,000 total skier visits, as compared to 1.63 million in 2010/11)
• Breck was the first ski resort in North America to install a high speed quad chairlift, in 1981.
• Breck became the first ski resort to allow snowboarding in Colorado, in 1984.
• Breck installed the Quicksilver Super 6, the first and only double loading chairlift in the USA, in 1996.
• Breck built the highest high-speed quad chairlift in the world, the Imperial Express Superchair, topping out at an elevation of 12,840 ft. in 2005

We love working and living in the Breckenridge area! Let’s hope that this year is another record breaking ski season!

Gardening is a favorite hobby of many homeowners. Now that cooler weather is starting to invade Colorado, soon many gardeners will be taking their precious potted plants in before the winter weather arrives. But instead of tending to those plants in a drafty garage or shed, wouldn’t a lovely garden room be a much nicer environment to continue caring for the plants? A garden room is a great sustainable room for your home if you love caring for your own garden and potted plants. The room itself is ‘green’ in nature because it is a safe place where you can care for your home’s plant life.

When you are taking care of your plants indoors, you need space. Plenty of room to move around in so you can take time to prune, plant and arrange all your potted plants for safe indoor keeping during the frigid winter. Take a look at a few garden rooms that provide plenty of room to get creative and maintain your home’s plant life.


Photo Credit: Howard Puckett via My Home Ideas


Southern Accents via My Home Ideas


Photo Credit: Andrew Bordwin via

Are you looking for more sustainable home design ideas for your new Colorado home? Contact Trilogy Partners if you need home builders who know sustainable home design.








Many homeowners are under the impression that a sustainable home can not be a luxury home. That could not be farther from the truth. To have a sustainable home simply means that the home will have minimal negative effects on the environment. There are plenty of luxury healthy materials available on the market today to build your luxury mountain home. There are also healthy finishes and furnishings available that make efficient use of resources.

Having your own custom sustainable home designed and built just for you and your family is a great luxury within itself, because the house will be designed to cater to your family’s lifestyle in addition to causing minimal harm to the environs.

Trilogy Partners


Photo via Interiors Digital Magazine


Photo via Interiors Digital Magazine


For information on building a sustainable luxury mountain home in the Breckenridge, Colorado area, please give us a call at 970-453-2230 or visit us online at


by Amanda Wills Published on March 8th, 2011

Today is a big day for Waldemar Alameda. The 40-year-old injured Iraq Army veteran opened the door to his brand-new LEED-certified home in Tampa, Fla.

The home is equipped with solar panels and a natural gas tankless water heater that will significantly lower Alameda’s energy bills. Its design – featuring ramps, wide doors and an elevator – will also make for easier mobility for Alameda, who became permanently disabled by an IED explosion while serving as a staff sergeant in Tikrit, Iraq in 2007.

Spokesperson Janell Vantrease, who was on-site in Tampa today, described Alameda’s emotion as he stepped across the threshold of his new home.

“Mr. Alameda […] was teary eyed as he got a tour of his new home,” she said. “He kept talking about how lucky he was to get a second chance to start over and how important it was for him to protect our freedom during his 20-year service to the Army.”

Local and national volunteers from Rebuilding TogetherSears Heroes at Home and NextGen Home Experience assembled the modular home free of cost for Alameda. Vantrease also noted that Sears surprised Alameda by offering him a job once he is able to work.

Of the nearly 200,000 service members currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 33,000 have been wounded, according to Rebuilding Together. With the heavy load of mounting medical bills, many of these vets return to the U.S. with financial hardships, making home repairs a low priority.

Rebuilding Together partnered with Sears Heroes at Home to raise more than $12 million to provide housing for low-income veterans. Later this year, the two organizations will rebuild their 1,000th home for veterans.

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