Beautifully "Green" in Western Montana - The Story of One Extraordinary Home

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Terrace Ct"Going Green" is definitely the trend right now. This extends to all aspects of our daily lives, from eliminating plastic shopping bags, to measuring and minimizing our carbon footprint, and also to home construction.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the green segment of the construction industry is expected to climb from 2 percent of all housing starts in 2005 to between 5 and 10 percent in 2010. If these numbers are any indication, the practices advocated by green enthusiasts are well on their way to becoming mainstream.

 So what makes a home green? According to, some good examples of a green home are:

  • Energy and system efficiency
  • Solar power
  • Solar hot water
  • Wind power
  • Water saving devices
  • Recycled building materials
  • Low or No-VOC products used
  • Certification Programs targeted for Green Building like
    LEED for Homes®, GreenBuilt, EnergyStar®, along with many others

One home, that was currently for sale in a breathtaking Superior, Montana location, demonstrates that you don't have to sacrifice style or comfort to help the environment. The home was designed by a Master Electrician who used his experience and knowledge of construction to bring some unique and exciting "green" elements into this home. The 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home is more than 2,800 sq. ft. including a full, finished walkout basement. It is located on 1.6 acres that overlooks Cedar Creek and features a 2 car, insulated garage, and a separate 24 x 28 insulated and heated shop with an additional 1/2 bath.

ICFStarting with the construction in 2003, this home was built using Amvic Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) with concrete fill. The manufacturor states that this type of construction results in an ASTOUNDING R-Value of 50+! The Amvic forms are manufactured with over 60% recycled materials and generate less than 1% construction waste. It can also contribute up to 28 LEED points to a home.

The use of ICF in construction has many benefits for the homeowner, including lower heating and cooling costs, potential health benefits because no CFCs and HCFCs are used, and a quieter home due to the sound barrier that is created.

The heating system for this home is in-floor hydronic (liquid-based) radiant heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, radiant heating has a number of advantages: it is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through ducts. The lack of moving air can also be advantageous to people with severe allergies. Hydronic (liquid-based) systems use little electricity.

 This home makes the most of the in-floor radiant heat by having tile floors throughout. The home's heating system is located in a small room in the basement for easy access. The energy efficient design of this home has resulted in extremely LOW utility costs that average $150 per month. This is especially low when you consider the cold Montana winters, the large size of the home, the heated shop and the increasing number of days over 90 degrees we have had in the summer.

Cooling the home is also efficient in the summer due to the insulation and a 200 CFM Ceiling-mounted Exhaust Fan. This extremely quiet fan cools the whole house and is necessary to freshen the air of this well-insulated home.

 Additional features of this home include:

  • a Light Tube in the basement bathroom, allowing for natural light,
  • Hardi-plank siding,
  • 26-Gauge Snaplock Metal Roofing and Aluminum Soffits,
  • Fully Guttered with Underground Drains,
  • R-38 Insulation in Ceiling,
  • Fully Integrated Media Networking Panel,
  • Photo-cell Lights in Front of House and Shop,
  • 2 Wells,
  • RV Sewer Dump Station,
  • 2 Laundry Rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs,
  • Large deck,
  • Large pantry,
  • Beutiful gardens and landscaping,
  • The shop is wired for welding, and
  • Energy Star Appliances.

This home is also located in an area with abundant wildlife. You will frequently see deer, elk, and wild turkeys out your window, along with an occasional moose. 




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Show All Comments
Jonelle Simons
Windermere Real Estate - Park City, UT
Great place - Yes, green is in!  More people are asking for it too - It's good!  Thanks for sharing - this house looks really great!
Mar 08, 2008 12:00 PM #1
Monica Bourgeau
New Phase Business Coaching - Portland, OR
Business Coaching
Hi Jonelle - thanks for visiting our blog. I think we will see more and more green construction in the future. Having this listing has been very educational to us about the types of construction and benefits.
Mar 08, 2008 12:06 PM #2
PJ McClure
Lake Homes Realty - Hiawassee, GA
PJ knows Lake Chatuge!
Green is the future.  As more and more consumers become more environmentally friendly, builders and developers will strive to meet the demand.  I love it.  On another note.  Could you send me any listing that you might have that are below market or good investment properties. Fixer-uppers and/or remote would be fine.  Thanks, pj   e.mail:
Mar 08, 2008 12:39 PM #3
Susan Davis
Austin, TX
Excellence Advocate

Must be a blessing to have such beautiful properties to sell! Thanks for the comment on my post!

to your success!


Mar 08, 2008 12:47 PM #4
Monica Bourgeau
New Phase Business Coaching - Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Hi PJ - thank you for visiting our blog. We have several great properties on our website at Can you tell me a little more about what you're looking for and I can search the MLS?

Hi Susan - Thank you for the great comment. We enjoyed your blog post as well.

Mar 08, 2008 12:51 PM #5
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

This sounds like a wonderful home, and loaded with some great green features that will make it really efficient.  I appreciate the links you included - those have some very helpful information in them.


Mar 09, 2008 08:49 AM #6
PJ McClure
Lake Homes Realty - Hiawassee, GA
PJ knows Lake Chatuge!

Kevin and Monica, your MLS listing #707248, the 22 acres looks interesting.  We love trout fishing and would like to have something close to a trout stream or river.  Property that backs up to USFS or BLM.  It would be a Summer/vacation home/property only.  I would say a min. of 5 acres with or without a cabin or mobile.  You can e.mail me at  thanks, pj

Mar 10, 2008 01:39 PM #7
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes
Jsut visiting your blog. Was intersted in seeing how homes compare there where you are. We recently had someone here to buy who came from your state. Lovely area you have. All the best.
Apr 27, 2008 07:40 PM #8
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL
Very interesting article on green homes:-)
Apr 27, 2008 09:42 PM #9
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