Energy 1 Talks About Ecosmart House 

REHAU® MONTANA ecosmart house

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Every day, our team here at Energy 1 works with renewable energy and building experts. We share our experience and expertise in an effort to learn from each other and get better and better at what we do.

 

It’s an interesting line of work especially because we’re learning new things all the time about how various green building and renewable energy technologies can work together to make a structure more operationally proficient, financially compelling in terms of overall energy usage/costs and environmentally sustainable.

 

That’s why the REHAU MONTANA ecosmart house project is so exciting for us. The Energy 1 design team did their thing leading the engineering efforts from our office was Todd Nelson, who provided the lead on the overall mechanical system and energy model for the house. And now that the house is finished, a team of scientists from MSU is conducting extensive research to determine exactly how well the design works!

 

It’s a true living laboratory of cutting edge building technologies. The idea is that the integration of specific systems can be studied, tested and evaluated at varying conditions, in both the built and natural environment to see what configuration creates the highest level of efficiency.

 

Right now at the house, researchers are testing the REHAU geothermal ground loop heat exchange, ground-air heat exchange and radiant heating and cooling systems under a multitude of conditions. The goal is to study specific installed technologies in an occupied residential setting everything from the insulating concrete forms to the solar thermal system — to determine what makes sense from a cost and performance standpoint. Layered into this analysis is the real-time results and information that will be gathered from varied usage patterns and weather conditions experienced month to month throughout the year.

 

The results will be interesting to analyze given the dramatic weather patterns of SW Montana, and the relevant demand for both heating and cooling throughout the year. But once the research results are received, an entire industry will benefit from the exercise. We’ll have specific, performance-related data on system configurations that will help determine the best approach to sustainable building design in our corner of the world and everywhere else.

 

By Leo Crane, Vice President/Project Manager, Energy 1