How Rodwin Architecture Created a Contemporary Sustainability Marvel in a Net-Zero Energy Boulder Home

Henry David Thoreau famously asked, “What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” It’s a sentiment that Scott Rodwin, AIA, LEED AP, founder of Rodwin Architecture and Skycastle Construction, took to heart when he began his firm 20 years ago. It’s a north star that guides his company’s mission, and the firm’s Seeblick project is its latest achievement in stunning sustainable home design.

Perched on an active hayfield with sweeping rural views in East Boulder County, Seeblick (which means “lake view” in German), embodies a passive solar ranch design, gathering the sun in the winter and screening it out in the summer. Surrounded by a pastoral panorama with a lake to the south, the 3 bedroom/3.5 bath home covers 3,400 square feet and was completed in 2018. The home is tucked discretely into a sloping south hill, subtly sculpting the land around it to maintain a modest profile on the front while opening up broadly to the view and the sun on the back.

“Every project is unique. Every home is created just for its owner and just for its specific site. Our goal is to find the ideal marriage between the two,” says Brandon David, LEED AP, principal at Rodwin Architecture and co-owner of Skycastle Construction.

Simplicity, modern design and sustainability were paramount to the homeowners for Seeblick. The home is Net-Zero Energy, meaning that it produces as much energy as it consumes over the year. This house is all-electric (there’s no gas connection), and utilizes passive solar design, a 10kW solar electric system and a ground source heat pump to achieve its energy performance. This emphasis on sustainability is a signature of Rodwin Architecture/Skycastle Construction, which is recognized as one of the Rocky Mountain region’s leaders in creating deep green custom homes.

“We believe that you don’t need to compromise,” says Scott. “Through thoughtful design and high-quality construction, we can create homes that elegantly blend the beautiful, the functional and the sustainable.”

Along with its technical sustainability prowess, Seeblick also takes full advantage of its surrounding landscape. The home is arranged into three sections (with the garage on one end, master suite on the other, and living spaces in the middle), with the center section spanned by a spacious outdoor deck. The bright, airy open living space is flooded with light spilling in through tall glass walls and clerestory windows from both sides of the home, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

For the homeowners, their property is an ideal blend of simplicity, innovation, sustainability and quintessential Colorado living. “We really enjoyed working with Rodwin and Skycastle,” they say. “They truly helped us design and build our dream home.”

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