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Alta Verde – Breckenridge


Alta Verde is a net-zero apartment community located in Breckenridge. Its design serves a dual purpose: to address the town's pressing need for increased housing supply while striving to meet robust sustainability objectives. This project represents some of the most ambitious all-electric designs in Colorado’s affordable housing stock to date, employing enough solar onsite to offset energy consumption. Alta Verde went into service in late 2022, with all 80 units having rents capped at 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The project earned Gorman & Company the American Planning Association Colorado Chapter’s 2022 Merit Award for Sustainability and Planning as well as ULI Colorado’s 2023 Innovation Award.


Project Data

Project Location

Breckenridge, CO

Climate Zone


Housing Tax Credit (HTC) Deal Type

Federal 9 percent Housing Tax Credits and state Affordable Housing Tax Credits

Date Completed


Size (sf)

81,358 sf

Levels (#)


Units (#)


Buildings (#)


Construction Type


Fuel Type


Green Building Certifications

Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH)

Total Development Cost


Please note that this figure reflects costs incurred between 2021 and 2022. Land, labor, and equipment costs can and have changed over time, even for comparable projects.


Electrification Strategies and Features

Water Heating

Individual electric resistance water heaters

Space Heating

Individual electric resistance water heaters


In-unit ERV

Alta Verde sets a remarkable standard for multifamily affordable housing electrification in Colorado, having achieved the US Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) certification in addition to its net-zero status. Alta Verde’s design features a 650 kilowatt-hour (kW) photovoltaic (PV) solar system, designed to produce enough energy onsite to offset energy consumption. This works in tandem with an enhanced building envelope and all-electric HVAC and domestic hot water systems. This design was driven largely by the Summit County Climate Action Plan and commitments by the Town of Breckenridge to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero status by 2050.

The standout electric feature of Alta Verde is the cold-climate split system heat pump technology. Breckenridge, in International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) climate zone 7, faces sub-freezing temperatures that can challenge heat pump efficiency. Conventional heat pumps stop working in extremely low temperatures, switching to less efficient electric resistance heating. In areas like Breckenridge, this would compromise heat pump efficiency significantly. Cold climate heat pumps, however, operate efficiently even in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, ensuring that buildings in cold climates can enjoy the benefits of high-efficiency heat pump technology. 

This project approached sustainability by focusing on their climate, envelope, and systems to optimize performance. This comprehensive approach is critical to maximizing the impact of high-performance building to operate efficiently and to meet the needs of residents.

Project Team


Gorman & Company


Gorman Architectural, LLC

Landscape Architect

Norris Design

General Contractor

Gorman General Contractors, LLC


Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers


Ware Malcomb

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)

Given & Associates, Inc.


Group14 Engineering

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