Real Estate Partners
PLUG and PLAY Off Grid Solar Power for Your Cabin, Yurt, Boat, RV, Or Emergency Back Up!
Lee Barker Builder LLC
At Lee Barker Builder LLC we build a few homes each year for folks who’d like to lighten their footprint on the earth and live in a healthy home. Whether it’s the latest in technology or simply a well insulated & efficient home, we’re here to help you realize your dream. For over ten years we have been building custom, energy efficient, high performance, healthy and sustainable homes in and around the Fort Collins, Colorado area.
John Dengler and Associates Design with a passive solar orientation and radiant heat.
The Goodwin residence at Serratoga Falls is Lee’s most energy efficient home to date.
Geothermally heated and cooled – no fossil fuels with natural tile and wool carpet throughout.
Recent Projects & Events
Mountain Living. A Midwestern Style Home North of Fort Collins
The Barbour Ranch. A Montana Style Home in West Fort Collins.
(ICS) INSULATED COMPONENT STRUCTURES
Solargon homes and cabins are inspired by design elements from
Native American and Asian nomadic tribes and combine them with passive solar
design principles. Using the latest in green-building technologies we have
created structures that work with and within the environment rather than
dominating or disregarding it. Green-building is the practice of increasing the
efficiency with which buildings use resources: energy, water, and materials . .
. while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment through
better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual
removal — the complete building life cycle. A similar concept is natural
building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of
natural materials that are available locally. Solargon homes combine elements of
Various models and sizes of Solargons are available
(ICS-RM) is a manufacturing company in FORT COLLINS, COLORADO dedicated to helping people
save time, money, and energy. We have developed cost-effective, high quality,
energy-efficient, easy-to-assemble building components
as modern alternatives to conventional building methods. We maintain a friendly,
fair, and creative work environment that promotes productivity, responsibility,
conservation, and innovation.
ICS is built on the knowledge that there is a need
for advanced pre-manufactured modular building
components that, when assembled, form a complete structural/thermal exterior
building shell. These structural building components
are supplied to the construction industry for residential, commercial, and
LOCATION: Our manufacturing, fabrication, and
assembly facility is in a 29,000 square foot facility in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Our location, 50 miles north of Denver and two miles off
Interstate Highway 25 (I-25), provides easy access to the western half of the
United States and Canada via I-25, I-70, I-76, and I-80, and on to other major
transportation routes such as I-5, I-8, I-10, I-15, I-17, I-20, I-27, I-29,
I-30, I-35, I-40, I-45, I-82, I-84, I-86, I-90, and I-94.
Insulated Component Structures – Rocky Mountain, Inc. (see www.ICS-RM.com) is linked to two
affiliates that serve the eastern half of the United States and Canada, and the
Caribbean region. They are: Insulated Component Structures, Inc. (ICS) in
Mocksville, North Carolina (see www.Eco-Panels.com); and, Insulated Component Structures of
Florida, Inc. (ICS-FL) in Eustis, Florida (see www.ICS-SIPS-FL.com).
Together, we are prepared to deliver our products locally, regionally,
nationally, and internationally. The three ICS companies share the patents,
methodologies, technologies, and procedures developed by the founders of ICS in
North Carolina during the 1990s. ICS is positioned, with superior products, to
serve architects, builders, general contractors, or do-it-yourselfers with
custom homes, kit homes, structural building panels,
and product-specific packages.
PRODUCTS: ICS-Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are
manufactured with internal and external surfaces (“skins” or substrates) of
engineered structural products, such as oriented strand board (OSB),
fiber-cement, Fiberock, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP), various exterior
sidings, or various metals, and have a closed-cell polyurethane foam core. The
variety of surfaces allows ICS-SIPs to have numerous commercial, residential,
and specialty applications: homes, schools, storage buildings, retail buildings,
hotels, motels, theaters, modular offices, laboratories,
temperature/humidity-controlled enclosures, curing barns, agricultural and
animal containment buildings, assisted living and nursing homes, protective
electronic shelters, are a few of the types of construction that have
incorporated ICS-SIPs. ICS also manufactures non-structural insulated panels,
such as insulated curtain walls, interior walls, partitions, and cladding for
The insulation value of ICS panels ranges from R-20 (3-inch) to R-28
(4.5-inch) to R-42 (6.5-inch) to R-54 (8.25-inch). This can provide a reduction
in energy consumption from 30% to 70%, depending on local heating and cooling
requirements and local utilities costs, when compared to traditional “stick
& batt” construction methods.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES: ICS-SIPs are unique in the industry,
as we offer patented technology, including one-piece 90-degree corner panels, one-piece 135-degree angle panels (for
bay-windows and octagonal structures), and a secure tongue &
groove panel connection system that uses metal-reinforced tongues and
labor-saving metal cam-locks. Combined with the best, quality-controlled,
highest R-value, environmentally safe, injected polyurethane foam insulation,
ICS-SIPs help customers save time, money, and energy
SMALL PLANET ELECTRIC VEHICLES
|Small Planet E Vehicles’ mission is to help make our small world a better place. We primarily attempt this mission by providing sustainable electric vehicles, electric bikes and efficient and fun high MPG electric scooters. We believe electric vehicles and an electric vehicle infrastructure will go a long way to making our small planet a much better place. Other goals for SPEV are to be a growing and profitable company and an advocate and promoter of sustainable transportation. However, in this process, we will keep in mind the Native American Cree proverb, “Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we can’t eat money”. This may be a time and a project when self interest and idealism has converged.
WHY BUY ELECTRIC VEHICLES?
Financial | Whether you use an electric bike to augment your car use, or you rely on it completely for your transportation, an Electric Bike can save you a tremendous amount of money. For the cost of one gallon of gasoline at around $3.00, you can recharge your electric bike or scooter about 60 times @ .05 cents each time. A fully charged battery can take you up to 25 miles. 60 X 25 miles = 1500 miles!
Environmental | Choosing to use an Electric Bike, Electric Car or Electric Scooter is an easy way to help reduce your carbon footprint. You will be reducing pollution in the form of CO2, NOX, tire and brake lining fragments. Did you know that the average car emits one pound of CO2 for every mile driven?
You will also be using less materials, fuel, and infrastructure. Reduced CO2 emissions is most important because scientific opinion is close to unanimous that global warming is already happening. For every 500 miles an E-Bike is used in place of a car, approximately 25 gallons of fuel is saved!
A Simple Lifestyle | For short errands up to a mile and on some congested commutes, E-Bikes can be quicker than a car! The pace of life slows a bit while riding an E-Bike. Stress goes down, enjoyment of life goes up. Because you will actually be riding that bike more often. It’s more fun! Traffic snarls aren’t frustrating and stressful. In fact, the worse the jam, the more gratifying the ride. It doesn’t just feel like you’re “beating the system”. In many ways, you are!
To find out more about going electric, visit these web sites:
http://www.pluginamerica.org/ ELECTRIC AUTO ASSOCIATION
http://www.eaaev.org/ BETTER PLACE
http://www.betterplace.com/ BE CLIMATE SMART
http://beclimatesmart.com/ ALL THINGS RENEWABLE
http://allthingsrenewable.com/store/ CARBON FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR
JOHN BARNETT AND ASSOCIATES LAND PLANNING
Mission of a non-profit community developer:
cost, paying skilled trades-people fairly for their work, and preserving the
ability of the land to produce food and natural resources locally are the hallmarks
of developing a sustainable community. Maximizing affordability, and maximize
opportunities for mass transit, while minimizing resource use, energy use,
carbon footprint are equally essential. Providing external impacts that benefit
neighbors such as scenic beauty, opportunities to participate in community
supported agriculture, and recreational opportunities rather than externalizing
costs such as increased traffic, loss of local agriculture, reduced water
quality, loss of wildlife habitat, depletion of resources, and the loss of
financial returns for their investors. To achieve this end, they invest in
areas where they see opportunities for profit. Opportunities to profit are
enhanced by cutting costs, increasing market share and/or increasing apparent
value. Costs are cut by mass production and marketing, using unskilled labor,
mass buying, cutting corners in construction, and minimizing improvements.
Market share is increased by increasing advertising budgets, selling the sizzle
rather than the bacon (selling image and vanity rather than substance). Granite
counter tops rather than energy efficiency. Profit is increased by apparent
value increases by selling high mark-up items like in-home theaters, granite
counter tops, and master bathroom suites rather than energy efficiency,
structural upgrades, and efficient space use. For-profit enterprises succeed
when they develop a piece of land as rapidly as possible. The result is a
monoculture of sprawl.
Non-profits are freer to develop a broader mission statement
and follow their core values and develop sustainable communities. Because they
do not require a high rate of return on investment, they can create and share
more value with their workers, customers and citizens, neighbors, and the
community at large. Furthermore, they can afford to continue providing services
to the communities they create after the development phase.
Land Connections for Sustainable Enterprises
basis will become more limited because of higher transportation costs. The
ability to meet the needs of communities and their citizens will become
increasingly based on what can be produced locally rather than what can be
transported from elsewhere. Communities and people who make plans, lifestyle
changes, and develop skills to provide goods and services locally to fare better
than those who do not. As in indigenous cultures, the unit of organization to
meet needs is likely to be communities rather in today’s society where the
individual and corporations are intended to meet needs.
towns”, and others. Following John Michael Greer’s concept of disensus—that we
cannot fully predict the future of limits—we should we should create multiple
approaches to development of communities.
areas, agricultural areas, managed lands, and wilderness. Each of these areas
provides critical goods and services necessary for the survival and well being
of people living in and around the region. These goods and services can be
provided mindfully, carefully, and sustainably—or they can be they can be
exploited recklessly, carelessly, and unsustainably. Creating communities and
institutions that tie these landscapes together provides great potential for
creating sustainable futures.
greatly increase sustainability. While such a future may be ideal, it is
probably impossible to complete even in a small city or town. However,
implementing Land Connections on a smaller scale would allow its citizens to
adaptively manage for sustainable results making changes where appropriate.
With such an approach, people could participate to the level of their comfort
and motivation. Parts of this idea are in place today and are operating highly
successfully. Community supported agriculture, community gardening, and
individual organic gardening; cluster development, green infrastructure, and greenways;
conservation easements; and permaculture all fit this concept. Indeed, Land
Connections borrows extensively from all these concepts.
agreements, covenants, associations, and other non-coercive tools of contiguous
or non-contiguous lands regardless of jurisdiction for the purpose of creating
sustainable communities within downtown areas, urban areas, suburban areas,
agricultural areas, agricultural areas, and—where appropriate—managed and
wilderness or natural areas. Land Connection is created by the full integration
of producers and consumers as citizen/shareholders in vertically integrated
sustainable enterprises. Such Land Connections for Sustainable Enterprises could be organized around
combinations of land development, redevelopment, agriculture or forest
conservation easements. Additionally, individuals could buy into membership,
buy shares in a CSA, or participate as employees. Since this idea is community
wide, it can be made to accommodate all income levels based only on the
willingness to join.
food and fiber locally; reducing energy waste and need; using renewable energy
wherever possible; using non-renewable resources in ways designed to enhance
the ability for recycling; tending the soil to enhance long term fertility,
sequester carbon, and enhance productivity; and reduce all waste through short
cycle recycling. Small business enterprises can be permitted where
appropriate—especially those that are geared toward local consumption, those
that preserve or develop skills likely to be needed in a resource limited
future, and those that enhance sustainability.
than separated into large scale land use monocultures. This enhances
opportunities for walking and cycling as viable transportation modes while density
in urban areas should be high to facilitate mass transit within walking
distance of most activities. Food gardening in pots on “green roofs, and “green
walls” should be encouraged. Civic spaces should be provided for public
gatherings and farmers’ markets. Greenways should be provided along stream
corridors with water quality ponds and adequate buffers to protect water
areas should also be based on diverse land uses on a walkable scale.
Limitations on sustainability include the isolation of land uses with large
areas of residential, commercial, industrial, and office monocultures connected
primarily by major streets or freeways. Much of the land is used for automobile
movement and storage. What is needed is a land use mix at a finer scale and
with broader potential for onsite and local food production, small businesses,
and energy production. Opportunities for food production increase with the
additional green space in urban areas. Landscaping that is both ornamental and
food producing should be permitted and encouraged. Borrowing on the seven
layered concept form permaculture of below ground, ground cover, herbaceous,
low growing shrub, tall shrub, small tree, large tree, and vines, urban
landscapes can be created that are both attractive and food producing can be
created. Green infrastructure including rain gardens, water quality ponds, and
greenways should be the dominant storm water management method. Where regional
detention ponds provide sufficient space, community gardens can be created in
fringe areas likely to be flooded less frequently than once every five years.
Grazing and wildlife habitat can occur in more frequently flooded areas. In-home
businesses, repair, and craft shops will also improve sustainability as energy
prices rise, taking away “economies of scale”.
ever made by America. Limitations on sustainability come from vast areas of
land use monocultures requiring automobile transportation for connection. Within
the residential areas, vast areas of lawn offer potentially large areas for
food production. These areas are now heavily fertilized, intensively groomed
using power equipment with much of the biomass production which contains
significant nutrients removed to landfills. Low density, single story
commercial and industrial land uses surrounded by parking lots reduce the viability
of transportation modes other than automobiles and trucks. During the Great
Recession, many shopping malls either closed or lost many of their occupants.
Much of this space remains vacant. Sustainable
suburban areas would include all the concepts outlined for downtown and urban
areas. In suburban areas, new homes should be clustered on smaller lots similar
to urban lots. Land not included lots would be set aside as permanent open
space. This open space (50% to 80 % of the land) could be managed as productive
agricultural space for community gardens or as community supported agriculture.
Alternatively, it could be set aside as managed forests and/or wildlife
habitat. Greenways, green infrastructure, and water quality ponds should be the
primary stormwater management facilities. Homesites should provide for food
gardening and home based businesses. Commercial, service, and employment,
centers should be small in scale and within walking distance on most homesites.
They should also have the potential for connection to mass transit even where
it is not now available. Pedestrian access to commercial centers from
surrounding areas and along major thoroughfares should have higher priority
than vehicular access and parking. Extensive green areas should be provided
within parking lots.
to more urban areas is via farmers’ markets, CSAs, and other appropriate
mechanisms. Mechanisms such as purchased conservation easements, can both
compensate owners for foregoing the potential for income from amenity
development and, at the same time, guarantee a food producing hinterland for
nearby urban areas. Agricultural areas are those areas
lying outside urban areas with adequate climate, rich and tillable soils and
topography, as well as sufficient water for irrigation where necessary. The sustainable management of such lands to
retain their fertility over long time periods is one of the most essential
factors in being able to maintain civilization over long periods. The use of
such lands for food and fiber production is the foundation for all
civilizations for the last 10,000 years. Prior to the oil age, approximately
30% of the area of farms was used for the production of energy (carbohydrates)
for the animals used as the primary power to work the farm. The remaining 70%
of the land could be used to produce food for people. Prior to the advent of
modern fertilizers, crop rotation, manure, pasturing of animals, growing green
manures, and cycling through forests were the primary mechanisms for
maintaining soil fertility. A clear understanding of nutrient cycling will be
essential to maintaining long term fertility.
maintain nutrients, and using green manures to build soil organic carbon to
hold nutrients will be essential. Farming organically to increase carbon
capture will make soils richer.
become more costly and less reliable, there is likely to be a resurgence of
wood as a fuel. With the continued adverse affects of climate change, we are
likely to see continued disturbance of forest ecosystems from fire, insects and
disease, and storm impacts. We are also to see continued loss of species and
genera similar the American chestnut or American elm. Episodes like the Rocky
Mountain Pine Beetle can cause long term changes in forest composition while
creating vast stands of dead and dying trees. Processing these trees through
small portable sawmills, pellet mills, and firewood cutting operations can
serve both as a means of creating sustainable local forest industries as well
as reducing the combined carbon footprints from the decay of dead trees or
wildfire and fossil fuels which might otherwise be used to heat homes and other
Grazing is a way of obtaining food from lands unsuitable for continuous tillage because
of step slopes, rocky or shallow soils, high elevation, or poor drainage.
decades, American cities have been primarily designed and built by for-profit
corporations for the purpose of making a profit. The development of land for
the purpose of making a profit involves selecting sites and a mix of uses and
planning, permitting, and constructing improvements as rapidly as the market can
absorb it. The corporations responsible for the development and occupancy of
this space make their decisions based on what their own criteria for profit
maximization. Commercial entities with valuable brands want potential customers
to make no mistake about where they are located and develop their entire site
as a sign. They have clear criteria about demographics, and economic status of
communities where they wish to locate, what traffic counts must be, what their
building design and signage is, what their indoor and outdoor lighting is, what
their parking requirements are, and how they will operate. Over-development of
commercial and residential space is rampant because decisions are made in
isolation. Newer larger shopping centers are built at newer larger street
intersections taking tenants and customers from older smaller suddenly less
accessible centers. This leads to more traffic traveling longer distances. This
is ONLY possible with cheap abundant oil. It also leads to abandoned or
underutilized shopping facilities and bankruptcies as almost as much wealth is
destroyed as is created.
and/or the presence, proximity, and availability and capacity of critical
infrastructure. With low cost and readily available oil, it is faster and
cheaper to build one story commercial development further from city centers
than to redevelop sites with multi-story structures. Multistory structures in
the urban fringe are built for status such as residential or office or where
long-term commitments to a location justify more expensive investments in a
site. In any event, each site is developed in isolation of all others and the
developer’s commitment lasts only until all the sites are sold. Covenants,
property or home owners’ associations are geared only to on-site and aesthetic
conditions in isolation of their surroundings and other mutual needs.
many of the same design models regardless of local climates or resource
availability. National builders often trade on the commodities markets to obtain
building materials from massive suppliers at favorable prices. This undermines
the ability to use local supplies even when they are available.
for-profit entities. Because they do not require high short term profits, they
can maintain loner term relationships with their communities and can play a
broader role in meeting long term needs of their communities. They can
facilitate farm-to-market networks—whether CSAs, farmers’ markets, or community
gardening. They can facilitate linkages between forest production and users of
forest products. They can provide education and training in sustainability
activities. They can facilitate tool and machinery sharing. They can also tie together the land
connections through ownership, easements, and other appropriate mechanisms to
create the land and resource networks for long term sustainability.