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RMI Innovation Center

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The Innovation Center, located at 22830 Two Rivers Road in Basalt, Colorado is a 15,610 sf office building and state-of-the-art convening center, completed in December 2015. To advance our mission and propel the industry, RMI developed the Innovation Center to demonstrate how deep green buildings are designed, contracted, constructed, and occupied.


The Innovation building is similar in size to 90% of U.S. commercial offices. Over half of all commercial buildings are owner occupied and office space is the largest use type.

The Innovation Center is intended to serve as a ‘living lab’ with which we’ll share how the building was contracted, designed, constructed, commissioned, and operated; and what RMI learned in the process so that it can be replicated. Therefore, RMI’s experience will serve as a practical model to inform thousands of buildings that would otherwise contribute significantly to the climate crisis. 

“The Innovation Center is not about technology, but about design. This building achieves beyond net-zero energy because we have gotten better at choosing and combining technologies to maximize building performance.” --Amory Lovins




The innovation Center:

  • Is 15,610 sq. ft., accommodating 50 staff, plus 80 people in the convening space
  • Achieves net-zero energy, producing more energy on site annually than it consumes--one of only 200 buildings in the U.S. to achieve this distinction as of 2015
  • Is the most energy-efficient building in the coldest climate zone in North America, with a predicted energy use intensity (EUI) of 17.2 kBtu/sf
  • Redefines how occupants experience and control their individual comfort
  • Has aggressive passive design measures which enabled the elimination of mechanical cooling and reduced mechanical heating to a small, distributed system equivalent to one average size home
  • The largest PHIUS+ Certified office in the US and one of the first ever to receive PHIUS+2015 Certification and PHIUS+ Source Zero certification.
  • Uses 74% less energy than the average office building in this climate, as determined by Energy Star
  • Earns all 19 LEED energy points
  • Meets the architecture-2030 goal of a 70% energy reduction, even before the solar-electric system is accounted for
  • Is powered by a 83 kW solar-electric system that will produce around 117,000 kWh annually and is expected to exceed the power demands of the building (estimated at 77,000 kWh) plus six electric vehicles. A 40 kW battery storage system reduces the building’s peak energy demand, which helps us stay below a peak demand of 50 kW, which keeps us in the small-commercial rate class



  • LEED Platinum (NC v2009)
  • Anticipating ILFI Net Zero Energy Certification
  • Anticipating Living Building Challenge Petal Recognition
  • PassiveHouse Certified
  • PHIUS+ Source Net Zero project
  • Exceeds Architecture 2030 Challenge goals
  • Anticipating Energy Star target score of 100
  • Winner: PHIUS 'Best Overall Project of 2016' and best in 'Office/Institutional' category
  • Honorable Mention: Fast Company 2016 Design Innovation Award
  • ZGF named 'Top Firm Overall in Sustainability 2016' by Architect Magazine
  • Engineering News Record Mountain States 2016 Best Green Project, and Safety Project of the Year
  • AIA Portland 2030 Challenge Award


Photos courtesy of Tim Griffith.


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