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Location: Louisville, Colorado
Project size: 3,452 square feet

Program: A former high-level design engineer at Apple requested a net-zero contemporary home from Louisville, Colorado–based architecture firm DAJ Design. Fargo, built on a 37½-foot-wide lot in the Old Town District, aims for a modern aesthetic that also harmonizes with the surrounding historic context.

Design Solution: The architects sought to integrate the residence into a neighborhood of mostly single-level houses without overwhelming the pedestrian experience. Due to the narrowness of the property, three stories were required (a ground and upper floor atop a fully subterranean basement) to include all the client’s wishes: easy access to the outdoors, an indoor-outdoor kitchen, and a detached garage studio. By shifting the second level away from the street, the architects freed up space for a partial rooftop deck, diminished the house’s perceived scale from the sidewalk, and created a cantilever at the rear that covers a ground-floor patio.

Fargo also benefits from the lot’s east–west orientation, which offers ample access to the sun for both passive solar gain and photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. A ground-source geothermal heat pump provides heating, cooling, and domestic hot water. These two strategies—geothermal and solar—allowed Fargo to become the first fully electrified and net-zero property in Louisville, a city of 20,000.

Thoughtful landscaping played a vital role in enhancing the experience for passersby and residents alike. Outdoor spaces extend interior rooms and cut down on the amount of traditional lawn. A front porch enhances privacy without compromising a sense of welcoming.

Fargo DAJ Design

Section courtesy DAJ Design

Structure and Materials: A steel superstructure works in tandem with wood framing to support the house. To clad Fargo, the architects turned to a combination of reverse board-and-batten cement board siding, cement board lap siding, and bleached hemlock planks. The thermal envelope consists of 2-inch rigid exterior insulation and a mixture of blown-in polyurethane and dense-pack insulation within the 2x6 wall framing.

Additional Information
Completion date: May 2021
Site size: .11 acres
Total construction cost: Withheld
Client: Joe Jarriel and Trudy Neal

Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Fargo DAJ Design


Photos © Jess Blackwell Photography

Fargo DAJ Design
Fargo DAJ Design

Images courtesy DAJ Design; click to enlarge


DAJ Design
922 A Main Street
Louisville, Colorado 80027
(303) 527-1100

Project team
Lead architect: Andy Johnson

Structural: Glenn Frank Engineering
M/E/P: Colorado Eco-Mechanical
Geotechnical: Soilogic

Landscape: 1st Green of Colorado
Surveyor: Flatirons

General Contractor

Jess Blackwell Photography


Structural System
Steel superstructure: Buildwell, Rio Grande CO.
Wood framing: Buildwell
Custom stair: Buildwell, Rio Grande CO.
Cast-in-place concrete: Arapahoe Concrete

Exterior Cladding
Siding material: James Hardie
Wood siding: clear hemlock
Wood soffits: clear hemlock
Moisture barrier: Sika
Curtain wall: Alpen High Performance

Membrane: 60 mil TPO
Metal: Drexel
Tile/shingles: Tanko

Insulated fiberglass frame: Alpen High Performance

Entrances: Duxton Windows & Doors
Wood doors: Penner Doors and Hardware
Sliding doors: Penner Doors and Hardware
Garage doors: Hanover Doors (with "Super Sneaky" flush mount hinges)

Glass: Alpen High Performance
Skylights: Velux

Entrances: Schacht Mill Works
Wood doors: TruStile
Sliding doors: Rehau
Overhead doors: Clopay

Locksets: Kwikset
Cabinet pulls: Porcelanosa

Interior Finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Porcelanosa
Paints and stains: Sherman Williams
Paneling: Clear Hemlock
Solid surface countertops: Cambria, Pental
Floor and wall tile: Porcelanosa
Resilient flooring: Porcelanosa
Carpet: Wool

Chairs: Room & Board, CB2
Tables: Room & Board, CB2
Other furniture: Bludot

Interior ambient lighting: WAC, Eurofase, DWELED, Sonneman, Marset
Downlights: Nora
Ceiling fans: Big Ass Fans
Exterior: Lumenart
Dimming system or other lighting controls: Lutron

All faucets: Hansgrohe
All toilets: TODO
All showers: Hansgrohe
Tub: Kohler
All sinks: Kohler

Energy management or building automation system: EcoBee
Photovoltaic system: LG NeonR
Geothermal heating and cooling: Bosch
Ventilation system: Zehnder
Exterior insulation: Dow
Cavity insulation: Spray-on polyurethane, dense-pack cellulose