Collaborating for a Better Community in Flathead County, Montana


265 Short Pine Habitat 079

Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley has a history of building homes to high efficiency standards. Participating in BetterBuiltNW’s Next Step Home Pilot program helped them take their homes to the next level of efficiency and form a stronger partnership with Flathead Electric Cooperative.

The Perfect Next Step
Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to eliminate substandard housing. In a climate like Flathead County’s in Montana, where winters feature below-freezing temperatures for several months and summers get hot, this means making sure the homes they build stay comfortable. Habitat for Humanity embraced efficient building practices as a way to reduce energy bills for their families, who earn 30%–60% of the median income in the area.

Asking Habitat for Humanity to participate in the Next Step Home Pilot was a no-brainer for Flathead Electric Co-op Energy Services Representative David Bopp. “They were already at approximately 90% of the Next Step Home
standard,” said David. Habitat for Humanity jumped at the opportunity to go beyond their already rigorous building practices and prove that you can make a highly efficient home in cold weather climates – even with an all-volunteer crew.

In my mind, it's not that difficult to obtain some pretty good goals in terms using less energy without sacrificing any comport or quality of living. 

- STEVE TARTAGLINO, CONSTRUCTION SITE SUPERVISOR, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF FLATHEAD VALLEY

  • Location
    Columbia Falls, Montana
  • Client
    Habitat for Humanity of Flathead Valley, Flathead Electric Cooperative
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