A new home for Little Blue Preschool

Confluence Architecture along with local non-profit  Blue Lake Preschool  is honored to announce that after searching  for 5 years they were able to find a permanent location. Last September, Blue Lake Preschool  acquired the  property at 55 N 7th st, which happens to be the former residence of Mary Ferguson, a Carbondale icon. She was born at Spring Gulch in 1906, taught in one room schoolhouses, was a town council member, a volunteer and historian.  We find this connection to be a valuable  continuation of  Mary’s love of teaching.

Construction is now underway on the addition and remodel to to transform this 1950’s ranch home into an energy efficient  healthy and cozy preschool. Some of the energy efficiency  attributes include  addressing air circulation and filtration by utilizing a HRV system with Merv 13 filter, and upgrading  the insulation.  We seek to replace all the flooring with environmentally friendly natural linoleum and will use zero or low VOC paints.

Confluence Architecture has thrown its support behind this worthy project by contributing our professional services of  planning, property analysis, and Architectural services.  Blue Lake Preschool  is seeking funding to assist with construction.  This permanent home will allow Little Blue to increase the number of infant care spaces in Carbondale, a critically underserved demographic. We encourage all to donate to this worthy cause.  Donations can be made at Blue Lake’s website  https://bluelakepreschool.org/donate.

Couple creates a deep-green, DIY home in Satank, Colorado

This is a re-posting of an article from Roaring Fork Lifestyles magazine.


Check this Tumbler scrapbook about the construction process, very interesting.


Confluence Architecture & Sustainability was the HERS raters for this home. The HERS is an outstanding -10! The negative means is actually beyond net-zero, it is net-positive. As in, the occupants of this home should never have to pay for heating, cooling, lighting or hot water. Attention to detail got this house crazy air tight. Even with salvaged windows and doors, Steven was able to get this down to .69 ACH50. I’m sure it would have bested Passive House requirements (.6 ACH50) if not for the less-than perfect windows and doors.

Congratulations Steven and Bailey- you have a beautiful, high-quality home. Here are a few teaser photos…

The "Hainestead"



Marble Distilling Company Design Wins Award

Marble Distilling Company







USGBC Colorado honored the Marble Distilling Company design for its exceptional implementation of sustainable technologies with a 2015 Commercial Real Estate Award.  The distillery’s integrated systems approach utilizes the heat from the distilling process to heat the distillery, tasting room and Inn as well as recaptures that heat and water for utilization in the distilling process and for domestic use.  With these measures, the building is 85 percent more efficient than local code requires.  Confluence Architecture is honored to be part of a great team that made this possible.  Congratulations to Marble Distilling Company, Energy and Sustainable Design and the whole team! Read more here.

Solar powered attic vent fan

In the remodel of KDNK Carbondale Community Access Radio’s building we converted the sealed attic into a ventilated attic. This allows us to raise the insulation level to R49. Typically, adding ventilation to an attic that originally had none includes either; cutting in gable vents, cutting in several thru-roofing vents or cutting in ridge and soffit vents. Thru-roofing vents,  ridge and soffit vents are expensive and they required cutting through perfectly good roofing to install. The building did have a window in the gable that could be converted into a louvered vent, but cross-ventilation was still a problem. The solution came from a fortuitous coincidence. The building was once occupied by the international solar technology educators; Solar Energy International. SEI had left a couple of old solar panels in the attic that just happened to be exactly half the height of the gable window. I realized that two solar panels and two 24×24 louvered vents would fill the space left by the window’s removal. Two solar panels would provide more than enough power to run a DC fan large enough to vent the attic for moisture reasons- plus the fan could lower the temperature of the attic in the summer! This is what it turned out like (paint to come in the spring). The controls are 120 AC single-pole cooling thermostat and dehumidistat wired in parallel; so the fan comes on if it gets too humid or too hot.

KDNK attic vent outsideKDNK solar ventsolar vent controler

 solar powered attic vent fan


KDNK album shelves

The rest of the shelves that Confluence Architecture built for KDNK Community Access Radio have been installed and filled.

Look at this incredible music collection…

KDNK Community Access Radio

KDNK membership drive

The first of the LP shelves that we built for KDNK have been populated and are in use!

Confluence Architecture has also offered a “business challenge grant” for the fall membership drive. Which is basically a matching funds pledge with a $300 cap.

Please consider giving to your community public access radio!



Community Service Part 2

Another project benefiting from the Confluence Architecture summer of service is the KDNK community radio station.  Mark (as a board member) has been assisting KDNK with plans to upgrade its building.  A project the whole Confluence team volunteered for is the design and construction of record shelves to get KDNK’s extensive vinyl collection out of the attic and next to the studio.

Architect works power tools . . .


Shelf parts awaiting assembly


Prototype under testing


Community Service

This building needs some love . . .

Confluence Architecture has been donating a day a week to community architecture work this summer. One beneficiary of this work was the SportPlex park in Carbondale.  Confluence Architecture worked with the Town of Carbondale, RE-1 school district, Rich Camp Landscape Architect, and Carbondale Commissioner Elizabeth Murphy to update a disused playground and a bath storage building into a lively multi-use sport and play center.  Confluence Architecture headed up the remodel of the bathroom and storage building. Our design brought the bathroom up to code, added heat to a previously seasonal building, and increased lighting and heating efficiency.  Phase 2 will reside the building and possibly include design charettes with the middle school to get students involved with the new look. The SportsPlex phase one broke ground the last week of July.

Ideas for renewed bathroom building: