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Custom Home in Golden

Mike Ambrose

Mike Ambrose used to live in a historic home in downtown Golden that was built in 1874 and was horribly inefficient. But Mike saw that some older houses in the area were equipped for solar, and something clicked for him. Eventually,  Mike was offered an opportunity to buy the lot across from his old house, which he purchased in 2012 and began planning his new home. Mike worked with well-known high-performance home architect Peter Ewers to design two identical townhomes. Mike originally wanted  to install gas fireplaces in the homes, but  Peter explained to Mike that he had an opportunity to completely avoid fossil fuels by building all-electric homes.

Mike said working with Ewers was invaluable. His process is rooted in a commitment to greener energy, and he is creative, imaginative and knows not just heat pumps, but all of the aspects of the home construction industry.


  • Low energy costs; the solar PV system generates most of the home’s electricity.
  • Very low carbon emissions
  • Quiet, comfortable
  • Excellent cooking performance with induction
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“I love the cost benefits,” Mike said. “My monthly costs for heating, cooling and electricity are less than half of what my costs were in other homes I’ve lived in.”

Mike has three sons and says that they’re concerned about climate change. His 14-year-old twin boys both appreciate the level of energy efficiency in their dad’s home compared to their mom’s house, which still operates using gas. They especially love using the induction stove.

“Living in a very efficient, zero fossil fuel home helps me to know that my kids and I are doing our part to lower fossil fuel usage,” Mike said.

Quick Facts

  • Location:
  • Home Size:
    2300 ft2
  • Year Completed:
    April 2022
  • Cost:
    $750,000 (for each townhome)
  • Builder:
    Bauen Studios, Denver
  • Architect:
    Peter Ewers
  • Building Code:
    2018 IECC, and it also meets Energy Star New Home certification program requirements
  • Heating & Cooling:
    Two Carrier cold-climate heat pump systems for each townhome – a 2.5-ton system for the basement and main level that is a hybrid of ducted and ductless, and another smaller, 1-ton ducted system for the upstairs, both with electric resistance backup.
  • Why This Heating System:
    They chose these two heat pump systems to efficiently serve the home’s three levels without the need for a gas backup furnace.
  • Water Heating:
    50-gal Rheem Prestige Series ProTerra heat pump water heater, controllable by WiFi
  • Cooking:
    Electric range with induction cooktop
  • Why This Cooking System:
    Excellent response, better than gas
  • Solar:
    4.4 kW Soleria
  • Storage: