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

Traditional Japanese architecture was greatly influenced by Chinese and Asian style, but because of the climate, the choice of materials used varied. In Japanese architecture, wood is the predominant choice of material. Typically the structure is wooden, slightly elevated with tiled or thatched roofs. One of our favorite elements of Japanese architecture is the way the walls, both the interior and exterior, are fluid. Walls can be removed or slightly modified by the use of screens or movable paper walls.

Photo via La Dolce Vita

When designing our “Steamboat House”, we looked to traditional Japanese architecture for inspiration. We wanted to fuse together design elements found in Japan and the American West. This Steamboat Springs residence features Japanese antiques from the mid-19th century and a 700 square foot tea house with authentic Shoji rice paper doors.

Trilogy Partners


Trilogy Partners

The master bathroom comes complete with a Japanese soaking tub set in sand.

Trilogy Partners

If you are looking to incorporate traditional Japanese architecture into your home please give Trilogy Partners a call at 970-453-2230 or visit us online at trilogybuilds.com.


Keep a cool head this fall season and go with a more neutral look for your home decor. If you’re a fan of fashion you have probably seen how big a role neutral played on the runway.

Elie Saab, Fall 2011


Michael Kors, Fall 2011

Well this look can be easily incorporated in your home as well. Try decorating your home with a more neutral palate. Need some inspiration? Take a look at some of our neutral designs below.

Trilogy Partners

Trilogy Partners

These neutral or nude tones will work well in any home, from mountain contemporary to a more traditional style. For more ideas visit us online at www.trilogybuilds.com.

Rustic! You might think of this word as an adjective to describe Colorado mountain homes, but did you know it’s also the name of an American architectural style of the early twentieth century? It’s a style similMultnomahFallsLodgeOregonTrinityPartnersBreckenridgear to one of its fashionable predecessors, the Shingle Style.

Rustic Style architecture is characterized by the following exterior design features: over-hanging, steeply sloped roofs mirroring surrounding mountain features, and easily shedding snow; stone foundations, shingle roofing materials; and log, wood plank and shingle wall materials.

Interior and floor plan features include an informality of design and spatial arrangement, large stone fire places with stone slab fireplace mantels, and big rocking chair porches. The Rustic Style building is sited naturally to fit into the landscape in an informal and functionally efficient manner.

A few of the best examples of the style are located in US state and national parks:TimberlineLodgeTrinityPartnersBreckenridge

Multnomah Falls Lodge (1925, A. E. Doyle, Troutdale, Oregon) is a beautiful example of this asymmetrical, steep flowing roof, wood and stone architectural style.

Timberline Lodge (1937, US Forest Service Architects, Oregon) with its stone foundation and steep roof lines, is a classic Rustic Style building of the period. Buffalo and bear head carvings decorate the exposed eave ends.

CalechoTrinityPartnersBreckenridge.A contemporary Colorado mountain home example that is suggestive of the early American Rustic Architectural Style was designed by Trilogy Partners. Known locally as ‘Calecho’, the architects describe the Calecho design style as follows, “All elements combine to form a symphony that embraces mountain history and modern mountain living.”

If you are fond of the Rustic Architectural Style and planning to building a custom home, please contact Trilogy Partners of Breckenridge, Colorado at 970-453-2230 for information about their custom home design-build process.

Photo Sources:  Trilogy Partners and Wikipedia

What images come to mind when you think of Colorado mountain homes? Are you visualizing pictures of attractive timber frame homes, stonework, natural and local materials, lots of windows, passive solar technology and homes blended naturally in to the surroundings?

Add expert financial management, sustainability and energy efficient home building to that list of images, and you will be describing the design-build philosophy of Trilogy Partners, award winning custom home builders located in Breckenridge, Colorado.

With years of experience in building custom Colorado mountain homes, Trilogy successfully manages the entire project including oversight of the design process, permitting, construction documentation, contractor coordination, and financial accounting.

Winners of the Summit County 2007 Builder of the Year Award, Trilogy Partners employs an integrated and seamless design-build process that serves the best interest of the client.  Committed to excellence in design and craftsmanship, Trilogy Partners are experienced custom home builders who micro manage all of the details, from the conceptual design phase right through to the completion of your beautiful Colorado mountain home.

Take, for example, the Trilogy Partners’ ‘Buffalo Terrace home.  Designed as a retirement home for the owners, Trilogy combined beauty, energy efficient technology, and green materials to produce a stunning illustration of the best in Colorado mountain homes, tastefully designed inside and out.  Utilizing timber frame design and meticulous attention to detail, ‘Buffalo Terrace’ proved to be a notable success.

Trilogy Partners specializes in energy efficient home building, and cutting edge sustainable architecture.  It’s more than just a design philosophy; Trilogy works to set an example of social and environmental responsibility by using new technologies and maintaining the highest eco-friendly standards.  For the best in custom home builders of Colorado mountain homes, contact Trilogy Partners.

Photo credit: Trilogy Partners

Congratulations to our client and dear friend, Trey Parker, on his triumphant Broadway debut as writer, director, and producer of Broadway’s newest musical hit, The Book Of Mormon. Recently nominated for 14 Tony Awards, more than any play this season, Parker joined with long time South Park co-creator Matt Stone and Avenue Q writer Robert Lopez to tell the story of two Morman missionaries who are assigned to spread the Mormon gospel in Uganda. Book of Mormon tickets have become almost impossible to come by as the public can’t seem to get enough of the guys behind the irreverent South Park Cartoon Series. We’re proud to have worked with Trey to co-create and build two of his favorite places on earth, one in Steamboat Springs (and featured in Architectural Digest), and the other on Kauai. We always knew that South Park was just the tip of the iceberg, because not only is Trey an incredible writer and satirist, he’s also a brilliant designer with a truly classic and timeless sense of taste. We look forward to joining forces with Trey again soon.


Buildings up to 30 storeys possible, award-winning architect tells conference

BY RANDY BOSWELL, POSTMEDIA NEWS A study funded by the B.C. government to help promote the province’s forestry sector will conclude that buildings as tall as 30 storeys could be made almost entirely out of wood, says an award-winning Vancouver architect leading the research.

Michael Green, who detailed his vision for the world’s first “timber skyscraper” during a keynote address last week at a Green Cities conference in Australia, told Postmedia News on Monday that a provincially supported study due to be released later this month will show that such buildings can be cost-saving as well as both fire-and earthquakesafe, and that Canada is ideally positioned to lead an emerging global “race” to reinvent the highrise construction industry -with wood challenging steel and concrete as the ideal building material.

“The exciting thing is, from an engineering point of view, we think we have something that is on track to be able to design -comfortably -20storey buildings,” said Green, a partner in the Vancouver firm McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design Inc.

“And certainly, we believe, quite reasonably, we’ll be able to stretch that to 30 storeys.”

A nine-storey building in Britain now the world’s tallest wooden structure. Green said a 10-storey project in Australia, a 17-storey building in Norway and a 30-storey structure in Austria have been proposed recently.

The Green-led Canadian study is a “pre-feasibility” analysis of what could become the world’s tallest wooden highrise -a 12-storey structure envisioned for an undisclosed Vancouver location. The study is being funded as part of an initiative launched last year by B.C. Forests Minister Pat Bell.

“It is our understanding that based on preliminary research results, Michael Green thinks that it may be possible to build a 30-storey building using wood-hybrid construction,” ministry spokeswoman Vivian Thomas told Postmedia News.

“We’re looking forward to receiving and reviewing the results of MGB’s research before deciding on next steps,” she added. “In April 2009, B.C. amended its building code to allow six-storey wood frame construction -the previous building height limit for wood frame construction was four storeys.”

In announcing the $1.75-million creation of the Wood Enterprise Coalition in April, Bell highlighted the province’s particularly rich endowment of forest resources and pledged the seed funding “to promote the use of wood in commercial and institutional construction.

The head of one of the coalition partners, the provincial marketing organization WoodWORKS! BC, hailed the initiative as another sign of the “renewed interest and renaissance in building with wood.”

WoodWORKS! B.C. executive director Mary Tracey said at the time the fund would help “build momentum in the ‘Wood First’ movement in B.C., across Canada and around the world.”

Among the first grants disbursed by the coalition was to Green and his MGB Architect colleagues, who won a top North American design award last year for their eye-popping creation of a retail restroom in Vancouver’s Gastown district with walls made from 5,000 paperback novels.

Green said Canada should be a leader in developing wood-highrise projects and expertise, and points to recent innovations in construction techniques that allow bigger, stronger modules of wood to be used in erecting much taller structures than previously imagined.

Vancouver’s potential prototype wooden highrise would demonstrate the ecological benefits, economic value and structural strength of wood-based construction, he said.

“My dream is to build a skyscraper ith a wood structure,” Green also rote in a recent essay. “That coment usually brings a bit of rumble rom the back of the room as it may eem absurd in today’s wood context, ut today’s context will not be with us or long. New engineered products are hanging the scale of our dreams.”

In an interview from Melbourne, Green said the environmental benefits of using wood for highrise construction -especially in a country such as Canada, where sustainable forestry management is widely practised -would, in the near future, be the key competitive advantage over carbonintensive steel and concrete.


As previously posted, I often work with clients to develop a “fictional story” that will aid in the design of a home. This story is the lynchpin for a thematic approach for design. In the case of the house on lot 231, AKA Caleb’s Journey, we wanted a home that looked like it simply belonged in Colorado. The Highlands in Breckenridge development is filled with homes that fit the mold of mountain contemporary. We wanted something mountain authentic. So we invented Caleb, the man who built the house. His story goes like this: Caleb was a man who had spent years building homes for other people. Whenever he finished a home he took the left over scraps with him and they became, over the years, a very large pile in the backyard behind his cabin. One day Caleb estimated he had enough material to begin the construction of his own home. And over the next couple of years, he built the home of his dreams from castaway materials.The result was a rustic, well worn dwelling completely at home in the Colorado Mountains. This home features a timber frame made from 20″ logs and hewn douglas fir dimensional beams, reclaimed siding and ceiling cladding, and gorgeous oak floors recycled from a granary. Perhaps Caleb was only a figment of our imagination. But he came to life within the walls of Caleb’s Journey.

If you were going to design a home, where would your ideas come from?

We’ve talked about the benefits of a timber frame a lot on the Trilogy Partners blog, and we recently came across another great idea for incorporating timber frames into the design of your home on the Timber Frame Magazine website – a timber frame porch. Timber frame porches are an exceptional design idea for adding a bit of definition to the exterior of your home. According to Timber Frame Magazine, timber frame porches be used for a unique entrance into your home, or as a sitting porch, screen porch, or an outdoor living space.

It’s important to note that if you choose to include a timber frame porch into your home’s design, you’ll want to make sure the timber you use is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage. This will ensure that your porch will stand up to the elements and require little maintenance.

Timber frames are great for constructing porches and outdoor living spaces, as seen here in Caleb's Journey.

Using timber frames to create a porch or outdoor living space is a great way to add beauty to your home, as well as incorporate sustainable materials into your home’s design. Whether you are constructing a new home, or thinking about adding a new outdoor living space, consider using timber frames throughout!

Timber Frame Construction, compared to stick built or conventional framing, is a very sustainable building technology. Unlike stick building, the materials used in a timber frame will inevitably be reclaimed and recycled. In fact, many timber frames are made from reclaimed and recycled frames from barns, bridges, warehouses, and factory buildings. An argument is sometimes made that Timber Frames use old growth lumber. In fact, some do. But Timber Frame homes typically last much longer than conventionally framed homes. Timber Frames in Europe and Asia are more than 1000 years old. One way to preserve old growth forests is to build homes that last a lot longer so fewer trees will be cut for construction purposes. One other fact about Timber Frames is that they are frequently build from fast growing farm raised southern yellow pine which is kiln dried. Farm raised Southern Yellow pine is a renewable resource.

Further supporting Timber Frame as a sustainable building method is that Timber Frame combined with SIP panels provides a highly insulated, tight structure that uses much less energy for heating and cooling than conventionally framed structures.

A Timber Frame home, though generally more expensive to build than a conventionally framed home, also brings with it the beauty of posts and beams, open floor plans and soaring ceilings. So Timber Frame construction is not only good for the planet, but beautiful as well.

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