smarter, safer, greener house competition

RidgeviewTel was in. But now the company is all in.

The Longmont-based wireless broadband network company that runs the citywide Wi-Fi system is the now the first team in DaVinci Quest’s planned green-renovation contest in Longmont.



RidgeviewTel had already agreed to be involved in the Smarter, Safer, Greener House Contest by helping every team with the “smarter” part.

But RidgeviewTel CEO Vince Jordan decided to take the plunge and have his company head up its own team after talking with DaVinci Quest CEO Karl Dakin.

Now, in addition to helping out other teams, RidgeviewTel will head up its own renovation of a home.

Jordan said RidgeviewTel, which bought the citywide Wi-Fi network this fall and recently launched a Wi-Max service, wants to advocate for Longmont’s connectivity capabilities.

“To have a smart home, you have to have a connected home,” Jordan said. “That was the main impetus for us to get involved.”

He added, “It’s a pretty neat project. We wanted to get involved with it at a house level because we were going to get involved with it at a larger level.”

Centennial-based DaVinci Quest is working to launch a global contest to bring in 50 teams to design environmentally friendly smart homes — and then renovate 50 houses in Longmont — to compete for a “significant cash prize.”

DaVinci Quest has been courting homeowners to volunteer, teams to sign up and sponsors to pitch in.

The company has a lot of people interested in being part of a team, but they can’t come up with the $25,000 each team must put up to join, Dakin said.

General contractors, electricians, plumbers and green-building industry folk “love the idea, they want to participate, but they say, ‘We have no money,’” Dakin said.

So DaVinci Quest is discounting the entry fee for the first five teams to get things rolling — $5,000 instead of $25,000 — and create a sort of “show and tell” for future prospective teams, Dakin said.

“The first five teams could explain how things work and be the example while we get things going,” he said.

Finding homeowners hasn’t been a problem: 34 have expressed interest and five have signed contracts to have their homes renovated, Dakin said.

Longmont resident Steve Elliott was the first to sign up for the contest and will be partnered with the RidgeviewTel team to renovate his 1927 home on Martin Street.

“The rest (of the homeowners) are kind of standing around waiting to see if we have a team for them to work with,” Dakin said.

DaVinci Quest is a for-profit enterprise that takes on global social problems by fostering innovations. It plans to do that by creating a series of 10 competitions to focus resources — time, money, people, ideas — on issues such as energy consumption, health care, food supply and natural disasters.

In the Smarter, Safer, Greener House Contest, the renovations must reduce the house’s energy consumption and reduce the waste output, as well as produce and store energy and water at the house.

As for the smarter part, teams must enhance communications and telecommuting opportunities and link the home with local safety departments.

For example, the home could make a 911 call, Dakin said, or a home could receive a signal — and then signal the occupants — when the city’s tornado sirens are sounded.

“Think of a smoke alarm that goes off whenever there’s a tornado warning,” he said.

Actual construction would be done between June 1 and Aug. 31 after teams submit their plans and get building permits.

Smarter, Safer, Greener House Contest

DaVinci Quest is working to launch a global contest in Longmont that would match 50 teams (backed by 50 sponsors) with 50 homeowners who would give over their houses to be renovated to make them more energy efficient, safer and smarter.

DaVinci Quest will have a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 505 Main St. to discuss measurements and metrics of the contest. The meeting is open to the public. Visit

Any individual or organization interested in being a team should visit to complete a team application.

Any homeowner interested in participating should visit to complete an application.

Contest criteria for each home are to:

Reduce the house’s energy consumption and reduce the waste produced there.

Produce and store energy, as well as store water, at the house.

Enhance communications and telecommuting opportunities.

Link the home with local safety departments.

Operate the house as a system and connect it with available community systems.

Via The Longmont Times