• Why build Sustainably?

  • For us, Sustainability means that we protect the earth.  We leave as much top soil as possible, we conserve on construction materials, we design durable, efficient and livable homes and we actively contribute to our community.  Given the twin threats of Global Climate Change and Peak Oil, energy efficiency has to be the primary focus in our work.  Bamboo flooring from Vietnam is not an adequate response to dying forests, drought and weather extremes.  Our response to these threats is to be engaged in solutions.  We try to be as technically, practically and socially prepared as possible.


    We think that building sustainably makes a lot of sense.  We'd love to talk to you about it, but until then, please look over these short summaries of our ideas.


    The most convincing argument that I've found for the need to control energy costs in buildings can be found at the website architecture2030.org/multimedia/videos.  Click on one of the clips showing the testimony of Ed Mazria.  Please take the time to watch a number of these explanations, then call to see how we approach this issue in our design work.

    Chinese style Solar Greenhouse

     Imagine, as a market gardener, growing fresh, organic food all year in Montana without any fossil fuels. Tomatoes into November and December, new greens starting in February. These off season crops offer higher profit margins because the alternative for consumers is the tired produce in the grocery stores.

    The Chinese started developing solar greenhouses in the 1970's and now have over 3 million acres of them.  Their mature design grows vegetables year-round and is energy self sufficient up to the 42nd parallel.

    We are currently working with a Montana market gardener to build a commercial solar greenhouse next year. Our goals are to use the Chinese model and proportions but adapt to our local materials and building practices.  We know that the building will have to perform well, but also be inexpensive enough to make the economics work.

    Please call or write if you have interest in a similar project.



    Jim Baerg Montana Energy+Design
    223 S. 5th St.
    Livingston, MT 59047
    406-220-1498 jlbaerg@gmail.com