Greening the MLS
"4CORE's Sustainable Building Education Program is providing an essential community service. As a non-profit developing Energy Star affordable housing, Colorado Housing Inc. benefits from the high quality workshops 4CORE offers. In just one week, three of our staff attended 4CORE workshops, at an extremely affordable rate, and learned about two new trends in energy efficient homes that we hope to tap into.

Thanks to 4CORE, we will be exploring the use of energy efficiency mortgages. These loan products are a perfect fit for our clients who may have difficulties qualifying for homeownership, but receive a significant break on operating costs once they move in to their Energy Star home. We are also able to plan strategically for changes to the Energy Star program. CHI has been building Energy Star homes since 1997, and is committed to keeping up with changes in the program. While we are comfortably ahead of the curve right now, just 'keeping up' will become increasingly difficult in the very near future. A recent full-day workshop with guests Sam Rashkin and Gord Cooke offered a clear and inspiring view of what this future will look like.

Without 4CORE, keeping up with innovations in the field would require costly travel for information that exists right here at home. The Sustainable Building Education program provides a cost-effective local forum for professionals to tap into each other's expertise and help boost our community forward towards an innovative future."

Ophelia Wilkins, Development Director
Colorado Housing Inc.

Allen Best

Allen is a regular contributor to the Durango Telegraph and writes his own e-zine, Mountain Town News. 

In this 25- to 30-minute presentation, Allen Best draws upon his decades of life in mountain towns of Colorado, his personal life’s narrative, and his rapt attention since 2003 to the science and economics of global climate change to make the case that mountain resort communities should get behind a national carbon tax. A carbon fee levied on atmospheric greenhouse pollution would, if structured properly, stimulate innovation and harness the power of free enterprise to begin marshaling more robust solutions sufficient to the magnitude of the risk. Too, it can be structured in a way that actually reduces income taxes.

Allen Best has hiked (and skied up) many mountains in Colorado, including some of those in the San Juans. He’s been working as a journalist in Colorado since 1977 and writes routinely for a great many magazines, newspapers and websites while publishing his own e-zine, Mountain Town News. A truncated version of the latter appears in the Durango Telegraph. He delivered a version of this talk about the carbon fee to the Colorado Association of Ski Towns at that group’s quarterly meeting in October 2014, held in Ouray.

Thank you City of Durango for providing the venue!

Previous Sessions
Resources from October 2013 session


The Switch Energy Project is a groundbreaking film, video and education program uniting diverse audiences in a shared understanding of energy and promoting efficiency.

The Green MLS: Putting the Pieces Together in Your Market

Download a copy of Peter Rusin's Green MLS Presentation

2013 Real Estate Study: The Impact of PV Systems on Market Value and Marketability

Articles of Interest:
Investor Sells Green, Flips for More
Couple Finds Green Adds Value to Home

2014 Series

  • Feb 6th, Healthy Homes Workshop - Sandhya Tillotson, 4CORE
  • March 6th, The Solar Garden Opportunity for Staff - Cori Andreatta, 4CORE
  • April 15th, Solar Garden Basics - Cori Andreatta, 4CORE
  • May 21st, Colorado Energy Efficient Mortgage Incentive - James Mitchell, Renewablue & Fort Collins Board of Realtors (download presentation)

2013 Series

  • March 19th, Solarize Community Exploration Meeting - Cori Andreatta & Gregg Dubit, 4CORE
  • May 9th, DOE Challenge Home Training: Zero Net-Energy Ready Homes - Colorado Green Building Guild
  • May 21st, Intro to Your Green MLS and The Benefits of a High Performance Home - John Beldock
  • October 15th, The Green MLS: Putting the Pieces Together in Your Market (download presentation) - Peter Rusin, Colorado Energy Office

2012 Series

  • April 24, Next Generation Lighting - Luke Mason from Ecova
  • May 16, Rainwater Harvesting - Panel of homeowners and Jeff Titus, CO Division of Water Resources
  • July 24, Radon Techniques for New Homes - Web cast for builders and building officials
  • August 21, Radon and the Real Estate Professional - Web cast for real estate agents
  • Sept 12, Radon Techniques for New Homes - Web cast for builders and building officials
  • Oct 17, Curbing Plug Load Consumption - Erica Lighthiser from Ecova
  • Dec 19, Beyond the Pilot Light - Gregg Dubit, 4CORE, and Dave Himes, Housing Solutions for the Southwest

2011 Series

  • January 19, Historical Energy Efficient Remodeling: Energy-Efficient Remodel Options for Renovation, Greg Mantell- Hecathorn and Mike Frisoni
  • February 2 and 10, Passive Solar Homes: Design Issues, Steve Kawell
  • March 2 and 16th, Energy Efficient Lighting with LPEA, Ray Pierotti
  • April 6, Energy Audit Demonstration, Shawn Andreatta and Tim Keuski
  • May 4, Insulated Concrete Forms, John Hatfield
(2011 presentations available upon email request)

2010 Series

  • January 12 Weatherization Techniques and Issues for Builders and Homeowners Gregg Dubit, Weatherization Project Manager
  • February 3rd Energy Star 2010: Building Energy Star new homes and renovations and what it takes to reach Energy Star Standards. Hew Hallock from Governor’s Energy Office and Greg Mantell-Hecathorn, Builder
  • March 3rd Selling the Benefits of ENERGY STAR Homes, Real Estate Continuing Education,
  • March 3rd Building to ENERGY STAR, Todd Gamboa, ENERGY STAR New Homes Program Manager in Durango and Cortez
  • May 5th Efficient Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning for Homes, Brian Griego and Don Wagner of Sigler Wholesale Distributors.
  • June 2nd, An ENERGY STAR Home from the Ground up, Larry Gorman, Green Insight, Durango and Pagosa Springs
  • September 1st, Approaching Net Zero Homes, Jim Ketter, KPMC LLC, Durango The Tipping Point presentation
  • October 6, Finding Energy Savings in a Historic Property, Rod Barker, Strater Hotel
  • November 3, How to Finance your Energy Efficient Home Purchase or Renovation, Stephen Ponce-Pore and Valerie Copenhaven
  • November 16th, Sam Rashkin and Gord Cooke ENERGY STAR New Home Roadshow
  • December 1st, The Not So Big House, Todd Swanson and Bruce Wigton
(most 2010 presentations available upon email request)

2009 Series

  • Insulation – Green Options for New and Existing Homes
  • Energy Star Program – HERS ratings benefits
  • House Financing Options – Panel discussion with banks and realtors
  • Energy-Efficient Mortgages
  • Formaldehyde and Pressure-treated Lumber – Health issues and alternative products
  • Green Choices – Alternative Methods of Building Homes
  • Solar Power – Costs, Rebates, Advantages
  • Green Building Materials – Practical Alternatives
  • Energizing Colorado’s New Energy Economy
  • Moisture Control- Siding and Roof waterproofing techniques
  • Radon – Energy-efficiency
  • Custom Green Contractor’s Perspective of Sustainable Building
  • Energy Star - Programs & Upgrades that Affect YOU
  • Presentation and Q&A by EPA-Energy Star, Denver office
  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems – New code requirements
  • LEED for Homes
  • Presentation and Q&A by USGBC rep, Denver office
  • Third Party Certifications – Recommended and often Required
  • Blower door, Duct blaster tests, Infrared camera, Thermal bypass
  • High Performance Window Options
  • Sustainable Architecture–Applying Building Science
  • Principles for Energy-Efficiency & Health
  • Green-related Tax Incentives and Rebates
  • Green Finishes – Alternatives in Non-Toxic Products
  • Solar – Water Heating, Electric Supply
  • Geothermal Technology Energy Efficient Lighting
  • Alternative foundations and wall systems

2009 Dinner and Training Seminar Series:

  • Government Involvement Greg Hoch, Director, Planning Division, City of Durango
  • Building Science Meets Green, Gord Cooke - 1/2 Day Seminar
  • Houses that Work, Gord Cooke
  • Wells Group Forecast, John Wells
  • Selling Energy Star, Selling Confidence, Todd Gamboa, Energy Efficient Building Coalition- 1/2 Day Seminar
  • National Assoc.of Home Builders: A Market Perspective, Elliot Eisenberg, NAHB
  • Alternative Energy Sources, Gordon Heinrich, Braxis Energy (geothermal)
  • Panel Discussion, Ben Jason, Solar; Mark Schwantes, LPEA
  • Green Cities that Work, Sustainable Action Plans
    Employ Energy Efficiency as an Economic Development Engine

    Fritz Diether of Grand Junction, Crested Butte
  • Green Building Programs, Michelle Desiderio, NAHB Green Program
  • Overview of Two Options, Patti Mason, LEED, USGBC, Denver office
  • Practical Advice, Dean Brookie, A.I.A.
  • How Green Can You Go? John Rehorn, Exec.Director, COSBA
  • Alternative Methods of Building Homes, Kelly Matthews, Owner-Straw House Builders
  • Building Science Training Seminar, Justin Wilson, President of Building Performance Solutions, Inc.- full day seminar