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Learning Laboratory - Educational Ecohome - Bozeman, MT

2013 Green Home of the Year Awards Educational Ecohome 

This unusual project home in Montana is being monitored to test various energy-saving strategies.

learning7DUBBED THE REHAU® Montana ecosmart house, this project earned a HERS rating of 33—an essential feature for a 6,786-square-foot floorplan hoping to be taken seriously as a “green” project. The ecohome is being evaluated and studied by the Montana State University Creative Research Lab.

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The building envelope is built of both insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and structural insulated panels

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The house features geothermal heat exchange and radiant cooling panels—along with solar thermal. For research purposes “the house design includes overlapping, interactive technologies [to monitor and in some cases, adjust] heating and cooling, fresh air intake and ventilation, insulation and the building envelope.”

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An Internet-accessible HVAC-control system prioritizes based on likely performance, “choosing the greenest available energy first.” The radiant system and solar panels also extend to snow and ice melting.

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In 2014, the homeowners will move in. Data collection, comparison and analysis will continue for several months, in order to verify conclusions reached during the research phase.

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