Rocky Mountain Institute

Basalt, Colorado

DHM Design developed a landscape design for the Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center in downtown Basalt. The Rocky Mountain Institute is a non-profit research and education foundation dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of resources. Their building was awarded LEED Platinum Certification, Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, and Passive House Certification, and achieved it with replicable methods and easy-to-source materials. The landscape embraces the riparian woodland habitat that surrounds the center and connects it to the adjacent river corridor.

Storm-water management is a critical aspect of the design and all rainwater and snowmelt from the roof funnels into a native-plant bioswale–a landscape element designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water–which filters the water before it flows through the ground to a pond just west of the building. Water from that same pond is then used to irrigate the rest of the grounds which are comprised mainly of drought-tolerant native species and clover lawn (which requires less water than regular turf).


Landscape Architecture
Riparian Woodland Integration
Stormwater Management
Irrigation Design
Construction Administration
LEED Commissioning

Project Team

ZGF Architects
Doug Graybeal
Sopris Engineering

Rocky Mountain Institute