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Green is still the buzzword when it comes to new construction and the afternoon panel at the Designing the New West Conference Friday in Bozeman addressed the realities of it in the construction and design world. Some of the nuggets from the panel: “I don’t view green building as a product,” said Don MacArthur, from MMW Architects. “It’s a process toward a product.” Robert Young, executive director of the Red Feather Development Group, builds sustainable straw bale housing on reservations. Green construction for Red Feather is almost an accident, he said. They look to utilize local material and construction to provide an energy efficient home. “It’s always about getting a roof over somebody’s head,” Young said.

Designing the New West: Thoughts From Green Builders and Designers

Green is still the buzzword when it comes to new construction and the afternoon panel at the Designing the New West Conference Friday in Bozeman addressed the realities of it in the construction and design world.

Some of the nuggets from the panel:

“I don’t view green building as a product,” said Don MacArthur, from MMW Architects. “It’s a process toward a product.”

Robert Young, executive director of the Red Feather Development Group, builds sustainable straw bale housing on reservations. Green construction for Red Feather is almost an accident, he said. They look to utilize local material and construction to provide an energy efficient home.

“It’s always about getting a roof over somebody’s head,” Young said.

In future building conservation has to be the central theme, said Dan Stevenson of CTA Architects Engineers.

“Conservation still needs to be the base of every project of every kind,” he said. “Conservation of area, conservation of energy, conservation of water.”

Green building also can’t overly complex or it won’t be sustainable, Stevenson said.

“If you’re going down a road and it becomes overly complex, back off and take another look,” he said. “The best solutions are simple and elegant and run on pure physics.”

Visit www.newwest.net/development for more coverage from the 2nd Annual Designing the New West conference held last week in Bozeman.

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2 comments

  1. i applaud the green concept. but in reality it has to be common sense. beyond the light bulbs and energy star appliances there isnt much. good builders have been super insulating and sealing for years without the moniker of green. if its not common sense and if its not easily affordable and readily available in the market place then it wont be widely adopted.
    straw bales????? beyond the curiosity value whats the point?

  2. Typical of double speaking architects and land planners. Dan Stevenson of MTA Architects talks about “conservation” and advertises a 10,000sq ft house on his website. No amount of work by true conservationists will undo the environmental damage done by architects designing abominations like this. While he talks about making “smart green” decisions, his firm is designing houses like this–Money talks and Bull–it walks. People planning, designing, and building these type of second and third homes need to be shamed out of existence or no amount of work will undo the damage.