New Town Builders, the company that uses beetle-killed pine for their framing, opened this net-zero energy home with an announcement yesterday. The company is the first in the area to offer a zero-energy package as a regular, additional option. In other words, if a buyer wants it, the buyer can get a home that generates as much energy as it uses over the course of a year for the right price — in this case, $26,900.
Colorado has millions of acres of pines throughout its forests that have been killed by an infestation of beetles. New Town Builders, a residential homebuilder in Denver, Colorado, has begun using salvaged wood from these trees for the structural framing of homes it is constructing. The company was approached about building a single demonstration home using wood from lodgepole pine trees which had been killed by the mountain pine beetle. New Town found that the wood was discolored but structurally sound and has now begun using the “blue wood” for all of their framing.