Home sustainability tour sheds light on common misconceptions


POSTED: 4:50 PM Nov 02 2013
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Folks with sustainable building supply group Refuge led a tour of green homes in the Bozeman area to help folks learn more about building with sustainable products and turning existing homes into green ones.

Mark And Lisa Momberg are looking to move to Bozeman from California. Naturally, part of the process includes finding a home or building a new one.

"We're looking for a functional floor plan, energy efficiency. We want it to be comfortable without a lot of energy input," says Mark Momberg.

The Mombergs tell us going green seems like the right thing to do.

"You feel good about yourself, you feel good that you're doing something good for your environment," says Lisa Momberg.

Yet, their qualifications beg the question, how costly would it be to meet their needs of comfort, energy efficiency and sustainability? The couple says they learned the answer at the first stop on the tour.

"It seems as though the builder's been able to accomplish that without extreme expense," Mark says.

The Mombergs tell us they were impressed with the home's heating input systems and heat pump water heater, which only costs the household five dollars a month. Plus, seeing the two have allergies, they appreciate the bamboo and cork flooring.

"I like no carpet," says Lisa.

Organizers tell us one of the main purposes of their tour is sustainability education. They say there are a lot of misconceptions about cost and availability.

"We want to dispel those myths and educate people about energy efficiency homes such as this that are at a very competitive price point but, yet, highly energy efficient and utilize sustainable building materials," explains Refuge owner Alexa Calio.

Calio says one way to build better, sustainable systems is through collaboration with other local businesses, businesses like YesHaus. They are the folks responsible for the first home on the tour.

"We can build a highly energy efficient home using sustainable materials. We can do that at a cost effective price and, the big story for me is, let's support local business," says YesHaus's Duke Elliot.

It's one reason why the Mombergs say they're learning extremely valuable information they can use in their search if the two decide to build.

"It's an eye-opener to come out here and see this," says Mark Momberg.