Definition of Sustainability

“Sustainability” is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as follows:  Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.  Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

According to the following set of definitions provided by Natural Capitalism Solutions, “Sustainability” incorporates the concept of recognizing the needs of multiple generations:  “Sustainability is a way of working and living that balances immediate needs for commerce, living, habitation, food, transportation, energy and entertainment with future needs for these resources and systems as well as the liveliness and support of nature, natural resources and future generations.”

Sustainability addresses human and natural systems (such as social justice, meaningful experiences, social values, biodiversity, ecosystem services and lifecycle food chains) as well as economic systems (such as market viability, profit and returns) in order to meet needs and desires without endangering the viability of future generations or endeavors. It is similar to the "seventh generation" philosophy of the Native American Iroquis Confederacy, mandating that chiefs always consider the effects of their actions on their descendants seven generations in the future.” --- Presidio Graduate School

“Sustainable Development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  --- Brundtland World Commission on the Environment and Development

“Sustainable development is a process which enables all people to realize their potential and improve their quality of life in ways which protect and enhance the Earth's life-support systems.” --- Jonathan Porritt, Forum for the Future

Golden Run’s Sustainability Objectives

Golden Run seeks to be the premier sustainable community in the world by setting an example for smart, eco-friendly development.  The future of development and economic growth lies in the advancement of sustainable methods and technologies which Golden Run will implement and integrate into its design working with its partners from the ground up. Golden Run believes the sustainability elements of its planned development will be a key driver of economic activity because it will attract national and international entities to the community.

Using its premier location in the sunny Colorado town of Erie to its advantage, Golden Run will utilize bountiful Colorado renewable energy sources like solar and wind in its efforts to go beyond being a Net Zero Energy community and instead contribute energy to the Grid. The community will also seek to reduce its carbon footprint by using recycled materials and all of the latest technologies in green construction and living --- with goals such as seeking the highest possible levels of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, per the LEED-provided criteria, below.

Possibly the greatest ecological contribution Golden Run will make is its design to encourage a sustainable lifestyle which is uncompromising in its effort to truly reduce the carbon footprint of all those who live, work and play in the Golden Run community.  Golden Run will demonstrate that, by reducing or eliminating the impacts of residents, workers, and businesses, large populations can be served, can thrive, and can contribute greatly to the broader community --- all without the negative impacts so commonly associated with growth.  By achieving the specific goals related to mitigating and minimizing impacts, Golden Run will be a clean, aesthetic, zero impact community that will help set the standard for the development of future communities around the world.

Listed below are the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria used in various certification processes.

Main credit categories

  1. Sustainable sites credits encourage strategies that minimize the impact on ecosystems and water resources.

  2. Water efficiency credits promote smarter use of water, inside and out, to reduce potable water consumption.

  3. Energy & atmosphere credits promote better building energy performance through innovative strategies.

  4. Materials & resources credits encourage using sustainable building materials and reducing waste.

  5. Indoor environmental quality credits promote better indoor air quality and access to daylight and views.

Additional LEED for Neighborhood Development credit categories

  1. Smart location & linkage credits promote walkable neighborhoods with efficient transportation options and open space.

  2. Neighborhood pattern & design credits emphasize compact, walkable, vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods with good connections to nearby communities.

  3. Green infrastructure & buildings credits reduce the environmental consequences of the construction and operation of buildings and infrastructure.

Additional LEED for Homes credit categories

  1. Location & linkage credits encourage construction on previously developed or infill sites and promotes walkable neighborhoods with access to efficient transportation options and open space.

  2. Awareness & education credits encourage home builders and real estate professionals to provide homeowners, tenants and building managers with the education and tools they need to understand and make the most of the green building features of their home.

Two bonus credit categories

  1. Innovation in design or innovation in operations credits address sustainable building expertise as well as design measures not covered under the five LEED credit categories. Six bonus points are available in this category.

  2. Regional priority credits address regional environmental priorities for buildings in different geographic regions. Four bonus points are available in this category.

Golden Run will seek to achieve the following objectives and goals related to Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency…

  1. Set goals for true, long-term sustainability and provide for the definitive mitigation of environmental impacts.

  2. Demonstrate how impacts can be minimized by being self-sufficient in as many respects as possible.

  3. Create the nation’s first truly Carbon Neutral community with a design based on the realities of Climate Change and, as a result, create a national model other communities can use.

  4. Use minimal vehicle use as an example by creating large “no-vehicle zones” throughout the community; hence, making the area even more pedestrian-friendly.

  5. Establish a Zero net energy use goal and the ultimate objective of having the community be a net energy generator (contributing back to the grid).

  6. Implement a system for on-site wastewater treatment along with a major gray water initiative to minimize dependence on municipal systems and to maximize the reuse and recycling of water.

  7. A unique and innovative approach to development by being truly collaborative.

  8. Work together with partners to design and build this project from the ground up.

  9. Create a long-term partnership --- a 100-year project.

  10. Make both the development process and the design itself a national model and, in turn, an attraction for Erie, Boulder County, and Colorado.

  11. Create a long-term, sustainable Economic Development engine for Erie.

  12. Incorporate a large-scale Community Gardens program designed to serve up to 4,000 participants.

  13. Emphasize creative deployment of natural vegetation.

Golden Run welcomes suggestions regarding what it can do to improve its achievement of true Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency.