Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an independent, nonprofit think-and-do tank that advances market-based solutions that transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous and secure future. RMI’s new flagship building—its Innovation Center—is a physical manifestation of the organization’s work and values, maximizing energy and resource efficiency while creating a structure that complements and strengthens the local community and serves as a demonstration site for the industry.

The team utilized an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) process that brings together people, systems, and decision-making to incentivize project results, increasing owner value, reducing waste, and maximizing efficiency through all phases of development. The entire process was planned and documented in detail from start to finish, providing a replicable framework for small to midsize office building design as a way for RMI to help drive this innovative process deeper into the industry.

With a predicted energy-use intensity of only 16 kBTU per square foot, the center is the most efficient building in the coldest climate zone in the U.S. Including an approximately 80 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system, the building will be net zero energy, producing equal-to or more energy than it uses on an annual basis.

The building will completely redefine how occupants experience and control their individual comfort in buildings; accomplished through passive design measures and a variety of technologies that eliminated mechanical cooling and reduced heating to a limited, distributed system.