Mark is currently working on two Green Build projects, one is located near Wallawa, OR and the other is outside of Wilsall, MT. Both compounds (main home and out buildings) will be zero net energy, will harvest and utilize rain water, will be powered and heated by solar, geothermal and wind. They will be partially heated and cooled by passive solar and heat stack techniques. Both families will be sustained by their properties, raising vegetables and animals fed and watered by site resources. Many site and local building materials will be used, from site sawn post and beams to locally picked stone and road base material. The green design teams will be maximizing the efficiencies of the buildings and systems and minimize the embedded carbon in every piece of the puzzle.

Mark has been expanding his education in environmentally friendly designs and systems by attending several courses and conferences focusing on sustainable, green building. The International Code Council and MT Dept. of Labor recently put on a two day Green Build class that was very diverse. The courses covered everything from how the LEEDS format is changing to actual case studies to urban and suburban planning techniques. Mark attended these courses and the "Designing the New West" conference. The New West brought together the top green designers, planners and experts for many round table discussions and presentations. Mark has determined that although the green build industry is currently exploding, there are many simple, proven ideas that will not add to the cost of the project.

Many of these green ideas have been utilized by Mark in his designs for years; Mark called it good design and common sense. The first place to start with a good green design is conservation. Efficiency in the design is key, keep the overall square footage low and utilize every square inch of the plan. Daylight is free and should be maximized deep into the structure to minimize lighting requirements. MWA will work with your goals to take a residential or commercial design to any level of LEED (or other objective green scale program).
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