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Home in Geos Neighborhood, Arvada

Karen & Rainer Gerbatsch

Rainer and Karen Gerbatsch were living on the east coast when they began looking for housing opportunities in the Denver area. They wanted to be closer to their daughter, who lives in Montana. Karen stumbled upon the Geos Neighborhood, a net-zero community in Arvada. Rainer and Karen purchased a Geos home in 2019, and they moved from New Jersey to Colorado with their five cats in an RV.

Rainer, who is originally from Germany, has a background in building construction. He understands the importance of  an air-tight, well insulated building. Based on his experience, he believes it is critical for homeowners to take charge and to move away from fossil fuels.

Rainer said that most people think it’s too expensive to get off of gas. “It takes work and commitment, but a level of awareness of renewable energy gives a homeowner the power to determine how a home can and should be built, so that clean energy becomes the new standard.”


  • Affordable price for home
  • Comfortable, quiet
  • Excellent indoor air quality with the smart energy recovery ventilator
  • Very low energy costs; solar PV generates most of the home’s electricity.
  • Very low carbon emissions
Image of Home in Geos Neighborhood, Arvada

For the Gerbatsch’s, the price of $565,000 was worth it for the clean energy standards that the homes were built around. Rainer and Karen both believe that as a society, we need to change the way we think about energy. “Building a new, net-zero home means paying some upfront costs without the premium utility expenses. And it gives homeowners the power to influence building standards and create a better model for clean, energy efficient living,” Rainer said.

Quick Facts

  • Location:
  • Home Size:
    2,730 ft2
  • Year Completed:
    15 single-family homes and cottages plus 15 rowhomes were completed in the Geos Neighborhood in 2014.
  • Cost:
  • Builder:
    Norbert Klebl, Founder, Geos Neighborhood, Inc.
  • Building Code:
    Passive solar design principles, very well insulated and sealed, with a smart energy recovery ventilator system, controlled by sensors in each room.
  • Heating & Cooling:
    1.5 ton 2-stage geothermal heat pump, electric strip for backup
  • Heating & Cooling Cost:
    $15,000 installed, minus 30% federal tax credit and $600 utility rebate
  • Why This Heating System:
    very efficient. Mini-split air-source heat pumps are another good option and are used in some of the Geos homes.
  • Water Heating:
    50-gallon Bradford White heat pump water heater (HPWH), installed in kitchen pantries to use cooling for food preservation and beverages
  • Why This Water System:
    HPWHs are very efficient, reducing energy costs for hot water Cooking: Bosch standard electric resistance range
  • Solar:
    6 kW PV system, which generates as much electricity as the home consumes on an annual basis.
  • Storage: