Geos Net Zero Energy Neighborhood is a residential, mixed-use community that will be built on 23-acres of underutilized industrial land in suburban Denver, Colorado. The project is part of the city’s comprehensive plan to intensify development along an established north-south transit corridor in order to reduce sprawl.
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Geos is a vision of sustainable community planning. High-density housing and commercial buildings are laid within a green framework of natural systems, stormwater-fed landscapes, and multi-purpose civic spaces.
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Guided by the bold objective of designing a community that produces 100 percent of its own energy, the architect and landscape architect worked in collaboration to merge high-performance buildings with energy-efficient landscapes. Checkerboard housing arrangements, seen here, allow each unit to gain maximum access to sunlight. This energy-efficient layout is optimal for natural day lighting and passive solar heating.
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The roof of each house is equipped with photovoltaic solar panels, which help satisfy all electricity needs. Deciduous tree species are strategically chosen and placed to shade building facades without blocking the rooftop panels. Because deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter, passive solar heat and day lighting are not compromised in colder months.
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Percolation parks located throughout the site function as both neighborhood green spaces and stormwater management systems, given they collect and filter runoff from streets, sidewalks, and plazas. These areas add beauty to the landscape and help frame outdoor public spaces like the mixed-use promenades, playground, and flexible lawn area shown here.
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Social programming integrates nature and agriculture into the fabric of everyday life, empowering residents to take active roles in managing their resources and environment. Fruit tree terraces and community gardens are maintained and harvested by adjacent homeowners, providing a reliable source of local food production.
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The Geos Neighborhood offers a wide variety of housing types and sizes that encourage diversity. Choices include single family homes, combined live/work units, connected townhomes, and senior co-housing that will attract a resident population with a range of incomes, cultures, and ages.
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Pedestrian circulation paths permeate the neighborhood and encourage foot traffic. Paths line the village greens and cross between houses, facilitating social mobility and informal gathering. Walkways lead to trails within the Ralston Creek Regional Greenway, providing safe and convenient access to schools, recreation centers, and other local destinations.
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