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Bonsai Design + Build

Bonsai Design + Build is an architecture firm focusing on high performance, sustainable residential and commercial design. Bonsai Construction is a general contractor who specializes in residential construction. We currently hold architectural registration in the state of Colorado, and a residential contractor’s license in the City and County of Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, and Jefferson County. We are fully insured with professional Errors and Omissions and General Liability coverage for both of our design and build firms. As architects by trade, our focus is on collaborative, client-centered, sustainable design. We utilize natural and local building materials as well as high performance building techniques to provide our clients with unique and environmentally sensitive structures.

ADDRESS: 2931 W 25th Ave, Denver, Colorado
PHONE: (303) 305-4751
WEBSITE: http://

TYPES OF WORK: Adaptive Reuse / Historical Preservation, Design Build, Interiors, Kitchen & Bath, Mixed Use, Remodeling/Renovation, Residential – Multi-Family, Residential – Single Family, Sustainability, Other/Specialty

PRODUCTS/SERVICES: Construction Services

AREA: Denver Metro
FIRM SIZE: Small (1-10)
FIRM PRINCIPALS/CONTACT: Josh Oqueli: Brandon Sweeney:


Bonsai Design + Build Projects

Congress Park Rehab

This 1916 brick home in Denver's, Congress Park neighborhood is located in the East Seventeenth Avenue Historic District. Being a contributing structure to a landmarks district, careful attention was take on how the homes exterior was restored, while fully remodeling the interior to bring the home into the 21st century. A total high performance rehabilitation was done, to include restructuring and vaulting the ceilings adding a 2nd story loft. Insulation was added to all exterior walls. The exterior elevation was carefully protected, preserved and restored to its previous condition. All existing windows were preserved, restored and made new with double pane retrofits while maintaining the original historic character. This project was outfitted with new interior modern finishes over a re-imagined floor plan. All new Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) systems. An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) provides constant fresh air while recovering ambient energy, and mini-splits provide point zone heating and cooling as needed.

Muir House

Bonsai was called to create a new home to enhance well-being and evoke serenity. The primary goals were to achieve a sense of calm and awe while striving for the highest sustainability and health standards. The program is for 3,000 GSF of high performance, sustainable living, complete with an indoor planter bed adjacent the chefs kitchen, perfectly situated for year round herbs and fresh veggies, all nurtured by the southern windows. As designed, we used Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) at the basement walls, and wrapped the building envelope with SIGA building wrap. These practices along with separate, zone specific air system helps the home maintain a quiet, efficient, and healthy interior. The roof structure was sized for a future green roof, and plumbing was outfitted for a future gray water system to be diverted to an outdoor Permaculture garden.

Jason St Duplex

This was a design + build project for a private developer with high performance goals and Passive House principles in mind. Each unit of the Jason St Duplex, located in the trendy LoHi neighborhood, is designed and built utilizing cutting edge building technology standards to achieve high levels of building performance in energy consumption, conservation, and efficiency. Basement walls are formed with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), which provide insulation on both sides of the wall. The crawlspace concrete floor is insulated and adds to the tight building envelope. The walls and roofs are insulated with foam insulation in the cavity, and a continuous layer of mineralwool drain board on the exterior to give the entire structure a continuous layer of insulation. This mitigates the energy loss through thermal bridging that occurs in typical frame construction. These layers combined give the home more stable and higher R values than required by code. The entire structure is wrapped in SIGA wrap, taped to air seal the entire building. This not only reduces the risk of moisture penetration, but significantly reduces air leakage, which is the largest contributing factor to energy loss and high bills in a typical code-built home. The well-insulated building envelope with minimal leaks drastically reduces the cooling and heating loads on the home's HVAC system, which translates to low energy bills. Because these homes are 100% electric, and are designed to be fitted with a simple solar system, net-zero is easily attainable. The quality building materials and practices integrated with thoughtful design create truly unique and sustainable homes. The building is clad with cementitious stucco, and locally reclaimed beetle kill pine treated in a shou-sugi-ban style.

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