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Real Estate Development : Innovation & Job News

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BOULD preps for green building "hackathons"

CEO Shane Gring, CTO Shane Baldauf and COO/CFO Stephen Lepke started BOULD in Boulder in 2011 and relocated to Denver a year later.
"We were having a hard time getting into the green building industry," says Lepke of the company's genesis. "The concept: Let's partner up with Habitat for Humanity and upgrade their houses so they are LEED-certified and then use them for education."
Since 2011, the company has had a hand in building 27 LEED-certified houses with Habitat for Humanity. This gives construction professionals a real building to learn and practice green-building skills. "We trained over 200 professionals in the last two years," says Lepke.
Now based at the Laundry on Lawrence in Five Points, the company offers green-building classes for contractors and others in Denver as well as Charlotte and Chicago. Tuition for professionals is $900.
Now five employees strong, BOULD is embarking on a series of hackathons slated for cities across the country this summer. "We're trying to condense a ton of material into one day," says Lepke. The goal is to "give the professional continuing education in green building."
If the concept gets traction, Lepke expects the company will hire several new employees by the end of 2013. The BOULD goal is to train more than 1,500 additional professionals in green building techniques by 2015.
"We're classified as a social enterprise -- where the nonprofit and for-profit worlds intersect, "says Lepke. "Lowering barriers to entry is what we're all about."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at eric@confluence-denver.com.

The Public Works hires two, adds more national clients

The Public Works has a broader skill set than most businesses. Branding and advertising? Check. Multimedia? Check. Trade show booths? Check. Sustainable library shelving? Check. Biofuel fabrication technology? Check.
Co-pilot Mike Arzt has deftly flown the company with the like-titled Frank Phillips since 2006.
In 2010, the duo relocated from Evergreen to the Art District on Santa Fe's Battery621 building, which they renovated from an abandoned lighting shop to an award-winning co-working space. Since opening, the building has been “booked solid” with tenants ranging from one-desk operations to Boulder outerwear maker Spyder, says Arzt.
Now with 10 full-time freelancers, The Public Works added Airstream, Grand Marnier and Ferrari to its impressive client roster. The Public Works still does plenty of work for top winter-sports brands, where it earned a sterling reputation, and looks to make a big splash at the 2013 SIA Snow Show.
At the Snow Show, The Public Works will utilize an Airstream as a mobile studio to record interviews with a who's who of the snow-sports industry for “The Business of Fun,” a career outreach program focused on “keeping kids out of cubicles.”
And business is definitely fun at The Public Works. Artz spotlights upcoming Ferrari photo shoots in Aspen and Steamboat Springs.
“We call it brand stimulation,” says Arzt. “We're helping brands tell their stories, whether it's through trade show booths or multimedia.”
The Public Works is also in the midst of an installation at a Pueblo library with the Supple Collection, the company's line of sustainable bookshelves, magazine racks and other library furniture.
After the success of Battery621, Arzt and Phillips may also invest in more Denver real estate.

“There are so many awesome spots that are just getting better and better,” Arzt says.

Capitol Hill's Urban Interactive Studio helps urban planners with outreach, adding developers

Chris Haller founded Urban Interactive Studio in 2009 after working in urban planning and IT in his native Germany and Denver. Early in his career in Berlin, he saw the power of online public engagement, ultimately leading to the company's launch.
“How can we make our cities a better place to live by engaging people?” asks Haller. 
His answer: Apps and websites that distribute information and change the conversation “from a shouting match into a constructive discussion.”
Now four employees strong and hiring a Drupal developer in the near term, Urban Interactive Studio sells a pair of off-the-shelf products to municipalities and urban planners. The company also takes on custom work. 
Projects include Imagine Central Arkansas, an interactive website designed to involve the public in planning for transportation and other issues, and Delivering Denver's Future
Of the latter, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock “asked citizens to chime in on how to fix the budget gap,” Haller says.

Launched in March 2012, Delivering Denver's Future garnered about 1,000 responses, casting a much wider net than public meetings on the subject. The calculator-like interactive website also informed the public about the tradeoffs that were necessary in the budgeting process.
Infographics and games “turn something that's dull and not read very often into something that's fun and engaging,” Haller says. “We like to think people are engaged in politics, but people are busy with their everyday life. Boiling down complex issues -- the idea is to provide something that's easy to access, grasp, digest and fun to read.”
33 Real Estate Development Articles | Page: | Show All
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