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Sustainability: Keeping our planet in balance

A true buzzword these days, the concept of sustainability has crossed over from manufacturing efforts to reduce carbon emissions to being wholly embraced by fields as diverse as fashion, food and, yes, architecture. The emphasis? Increasing longevity and reducing waste.


No matter how it’s practiced, at its core, sustainability is about keeping the delicate ecosystems of our planet in balance. And that’s a foundation of our firm.


Very simply, R+B’s foundation of sustainable practices is rooted in our experience in the re-use and re-purpose of existing structure, including both residential and commercial buildings. Practicing design in both our Aspen sustainably designed studio and our forward-thinking Denver studio, and with the expertise of eight LEED accredited designers, we educate ourselves through research and extend this knowledge to our clients. We apply the shared goals of a sustainable future one project at a time.

On the residential side, a perfect example is the ground up, LEED certified Gold home of our Principals, Sarah Broughton and John Rowland. In alignment with the requirements of Aspen’s Historic Preservation Commission, the home’s simple gable roof, patterned siding and traditional front porch are an ode to Aspen’s Victorian past and in keeping with the historic vernacular of the neighborhood. Pure in form and with modern articulation, it is modern and efficient with no unused space.


Environmental sensibilities inspired significant sustainable highlights, including:

    • Designing with a minimal material palette, including concrete, Hardi-Board siding, recycled tile and galvalume roofing
    • The use of natural materials, including oak on the walls, floor and stair, authentically used in all spaces
    • A backyard bocce ball court that filters all storm water through a civil engineer designed system
    • Landscape featuring native and drought tolerant species, a positive practice to reduce water usage while providing a conscious and beautiful landscape design

See what Dwell magazine had to say about this project.

Meet Our LEED Accredited Designers

Amanda Christianson

Brandt Shwayder

Dana Ellis

Mark Bever

Scott McHale

Will Otte

Marisol Foreman

Steve Harris