Case study

Breckenridge Alta Verde

UPDATED: 12/13/2023


Project Name: Alta Verde

Project Leader(s): Gorman & Company LLC 

Partner(s): Town of Breckenridge

Stage of Completion: Completed

Construction Type: New Construction

Building Type: Multi-family (# of units per building: 25-40 bedrooms per structure; buildings are two stories) 

Total Number of Units Targeted: 80

Total Number of Units Completed: 80

Tenant Structure: Renter-occupied

Target Audience:

  • Low-income residents. The project was designed to support local people who work in Breckenridge and cannot afford to compete with the market rate housing market. Residents must work at least 30 hours per week in the county. 

  • The rent for the new development will be set at 30-60% of the Summit County Average Median Income to ensure affordability for tenants.

Electrification Project Scope

Full/Partial Electrification: Full

Existing Heating Fuel Type: N/A

End Uses Electrified: Space heating and cooling, water heating, cooking, clothes drying

Specific electric appliances installed:

  •  Each unit has its own Carrier, cold-climate air-source ducted heat pump system and electric tank water heaters, with backup electric resistance heating as part of the air handler in the heat pump.

  • Breckenridge is in climate zone 7 at 9,200 ft., which factored into choosing air-source heat pumps. 


Total Project Funding:

  •  Total cost: $32 million

  • $960,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Division of Housing

  • $650,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Assistance Fund RENEW Program (covered 40% of the cost of solar) 

  • 16 non-tax credit units

  • Low-income housing tax credit 

  • Town of Breckenridge paid for infrastructure, vertical construction was paid for by Gorman

  • Gap financing to help achieve net zero 

  • Gorman paid for the remaining project costs as owner of the project

Amount or % of Project Cost Covered per unit: N/A

Source of Funding:

  • Town of Breckenridge 5A Funding, Community Development Block Grant from Division of Housing, CO Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Assistance Fund RENEW 

  • LIHTCs from CO Housing and Finance Authority

  • Loans from Vectra Bank and Lument

More information

Motivation for electrification

  • The primary motivation was to address two primary goals of the Town of Breckenridge – expand affordable workforce housing and cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 and 80% emissions reduction by 2050. Breckenridge officials saw the challenge of providing affordable workforce housing while trying to meet their climate goals. So, they developed their own affordable workforce housing project that could tackle both issues.

  • An additional long-term goal is to maintain low costs for housing and utilities in Alta Verde. Looking to address utility costs, air quality, and comfortability in the home to make tenants’ quality of life better. The goal was to build healthy workforce homes that are affordable in perpetuity.

Additional Measures Implemented

  • Solar panels, EV charging, e-bike share hub, transit stop (redesigned fixed route transit to have a stop at Alta Verde), recreation path connects to Alta Verde from the town of Breckenridge, community garden, and a play structure 

  • Workforce Development/Green Jobs Component

Workforce Development/Green Jobs Component: Used this project as a case study to educate homebuilders in the area.

Next steps: Phase II of Alta Verde (fully-electric, net-zero building with a focus on tightening the building envelope above code to optimize the efficiency of using electric resistance heat and doubling the amount of solar to minimize operational costs)

Source: Alta Verde Phase I

Links to additional resources:

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