Mountain Green House

How one couple merged high design with sensitivity to the earth.
February 2006
Beth and Ron Eller are of similar minds when it comes to why they live full-time in the Colorado mountains. For Ron, it's the seasons, the views, and the wildlife. Beth, who paints landscapes, loves the fact that the light is different every day on the mountains and in the valleys. And if there's one thing they agree on most it's that they wanted their new house to be green-sensitive in its planning, materials, and detailing to the needs of the earth itself.

The pair had considered settling on both coasts but ended up falling in love with the vistas and lifestyle in the Fraser Valley. Ron, a general manager for Hewlett Packard, and Beth were content enough in the traditionally constructed townhouse they had purchased near Fraser (a town that proudly proclaims itself "America's Icebox"). That is until a few years ago, when the weather delivered more than a dozen days with the temperature never lifting above 0 degrees. Their wind-whipped windows and frigid-to-the-touch walls were enough to clue them in that it was time to make a commitment to attentive design and proper construction. That weekend they came across a newspaper story about local designer Seth Sadler, who concentrated on green design, and knew they had a phone call to make.