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Photo by Tim Griffith, courtesy of ZGF Architects

The RMI Innovation Center

The Innovation Center is RMI’s state-of-the-art beyond net-zero energy office and convening center in Basalt, CO.

Tour the Innovation Center

What makes the Innovation Center so innovative? Hear from our design team during a brief video tour.

The building's energy use intensity (kBtu/sf/year)
more efficient than the average office in the same climate
design life, opposed to the average 30-year

The Innovation Center is the highest-performing building in the coldest climate zone in the U.S., producing more clean energy than it uses on an annual basis plus enough to power six electric vehicles. It is one of only 200 net-zero commercial buildings in the U.S. as of 2016, and provides a leading example of buildings that can solve the climate crisis.

About the Innovation Center

The Innovation Center, located in Basalt, Colorado, is a 15,610 square-foot office building and state-of-the-art convening center. To advance our mission and propel the industry, RMI designed the Innovation Center to demonstrate how net-zero carbon buildings should be designed, contracted, constructed, and occupied.

Photo by Pat Sudemeir

Why it Matters

The Innovation Center building is similar in size to 90% of U.S. commercial offices. Over half of all commercial buildings are owner occupied and office space is the largest use type. The Innovation Center is intended to serve as a groundbreaking model to push the boundaries of what’s possible with integrative, passive design and the business case for net-zero energy. It includes an advanced level of automation, metering, and controls that demonstrate where market gaps exist, and how the industry can move forward.

Who’s Involved

The Innovation Center’s level of design and performance was achieved thanks to a dedicated and multi-faceted team comprised of architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, and philanthropic partners.

Photo by Pat Sudemeir

Take a Tour

Interested in touring the Innovation Center? Public tours are regularly offered at the building—22830 Two Rivers Rd. in Basalt, Colorado—the first and third Thursdays of every month at 4 p.m. Tours last approximately 45 minutes, are conducted by Rocky Mountain Institute staff, and cover the building's design process, key features, and functions. RSVPs are not required. When you arrive for a tour, please enter our lobby at the main entrance.


LEED Platinum

Certified (NC v2009)

International Living Futures Institute Zero Energy Certification


PHIUS+ Source Net Zero


Architecture 2030 Challenge

Target Exceeded

Energy Star

Targeting score of 100

International Living Futures Institute

Petal Certified


Fast Company Innovation by Design Award

Honorable Mention, 2016

AIA Portland 2030 Challenge Award

Winner, 2016

Engineering News Record Mountain States Award

Winner, Best Green Project and Safety Project of the Year, 2016

Architect Magazine Award

ZGF named Top Firm Overall in Sustainability, 2016


Winner, Best Overall Project and best in Office/Institutional category, 2016

Associated General Contractors of Colorado Award

Winner, Best Building Project ($10–40m), 2016


Case Study

Less Than Zero—Architect Magazine, 2017

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Insight Brief

Re-Defining and Delivering Thermal Comfort in Buildings, 2016

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Airtightness in Buildings: Don't Let it Slip Through the Cracks, 2016

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Case Study

Published by Passive House Institute U.S., 2017

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Case Study

Published by International Living Futures Institute's, 2017

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View live data on Innovation Center performance on our energy dashboard

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Excessive AC a Hot Topic in the U.S., 2015

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How to Buy a Net Zero Office, 2015

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Innovation Center Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Agreement and Exhibits, 2015

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Innovation Center Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Multi-Party Agreement Value Cost Model, 2015

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Innovation Center Tour Request Form