Modular Workforce Housing Designed for LEED Platinum Added to SkiCo’s Housing Inventory

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorAspen, Colo.—ModSystemSB Inc. has completed Holiday House, a 25-unit modular workforce housing project designed for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, for the Aspen Skiing Co. (SkiCo). The entire project—from digging the foundation to delivering the modules—took five months, Bill Boyd, general manager of ModSystemSB Inc., tells MHN. Traditionally built, the housing development would have been a 13- to 14-month project, he adds.”Everything takes a lot longer in the mountain environment, and it was also an infill project, so when you don’t have room to bunk materials on the site, that winds up taking longer,” Boyd notes.While Boyd acknowledges that the construction costs were about the same as a traditional building, he does say, “this was a high-performance [building] for the same cost as you would have built something to minimum code standards.The site originally included an older multi-housing development, which Aspen Skiing Co. planned to knock down and replace with a new building. After undergoing a year of the design process, however, the company decided to take a modular approach.Because the development was built off-site, the amount of production waste was greatly reduced.In addition to its modular structure, green features at Holiday House include: • structural insulated panels in the exterior walls and roofs;• SmartSide Trim & Siding made of oriented strand board, a rapidly renewable resource; • damage-resistant sheetrock with 95 percent recycled-content; • medium-density fiberboard (MDF) trim and Masonite doors; • FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified lumber in the interior framing;• Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs), which exchange stale indoor air for fresh outdoor air without losing heat in each unit; • damage-resistant sheetrock; • cradle-to-cradle carpeting; • recycled-rubber flooring in common areas; • 95 percent efficient boilers;• low-VOC paints and adhesives; • low-flow plumbing fixtures and dual-flush toilets.The majority of units at Holiday House are studios, though the development does offer some one- and two-bedroom apartments. The project, which is near downtown Aspen, has four rental seasons for seasonal workers although some residents rent here for longer periods.