The roof of a net-zero home in Longmont, Colo., features concrete tiles combined with 229 integrated solar panels. The roofing system is made by CertainTeed.



Nestled outside of Boulder, Colorado, the city of Longmont abounds with the beauty of nature delicately balanced with the modern amenities that residents demand. The city enjoys the weather Colorado is known for — beautiful warmer months capped with a snow season that delights skiers from around the world.

Those lucky enough to own a home in Longmont are often protective of the environment in which they live. And perhaps, because of the natural bounty that Colorado boasts, the state is at the forefront of incorporating solar power into residential construction. In fact, in 2004, Colorado passed the first voter-led Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in the nation, requiring electricity providers to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy sources.

The state’s goal is to utilize 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2040. Stringent energy codes are nothing new to builders like Colorado-based Sopris Homes. The builder has been constructing high-performance luxury homes for more than two decades.

The completed roof system incorporates 229 solar tiles, each with a power rating of 68 watts per tile. Photos: CertainTeed
According to Sopris Homes President John Stevens, “As more communities desire and even require solar on new home construction, finding solar products that are both functional and attractive is a growing challenge for builders. In some areas, we’re mandated to use solar.

In other areas, it’s a choice. Most people don’t voluntarily pay for solar on new home construction because, for most, it is not considered an aesthetic improvement.”