23 May, 2024

Advancing Building Practices in Bozeman, Montana

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Interest in this year’s Best Practices in New Home Construction training hosted by BetterBuiltNW, Earth Advantage, and the city of Bozeman exceeded expectations. Both training opportunities filled up quickly, generating a waiting list. Attendees hailed from Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, and Livingston. Here’s a quick recap of the sessions:

May 2: On-Site at a High-Performance Home
The training kicked off with a site visit led by Alex Boetzel (Earth Advantage), featuring local builder Josh Blomquist (CWJ & Associates, Inc.), and energy Rater James Childre (RedPoint LLC). Attendees explored an all-electric single-family home showcasing top-tier energy-efficiency features, such as air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, an energy recovery ventilator, and passive house-level air tightness. Josh’s firsthand account and photo slideshow of the build process were highlights, along with his passion for communicating the benefits of high-performance building to today’s environmentally conscious homebuyer.

Continuing the Conversation
Post-training, James hosted an engaging “BS (Building Science) & Beer” happy hour to keep the conversations flowing. This happy hour is a new monthly event that promises to keep the dialogue going among Bozeman’s building professionals. The next meet-up will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 6, at Shine Beer Sanctuary in Bozeman. Contact RedPoint LLC at for more information.

May 3: Classroom Training on Good, Better and Best Practices

The following morning, training attendees gathered at the Montana Weatherization Training Center to delve into the nuts and bolts of energy-efficient home building. The four-hour workshop covered everything from local incentive programs to the latest advancements in envelope design and mechanical systems.

The training offered a broad spectrum of options, along with some valuable deep dives on the importance of air barriers and envelope design upgrades, and the role of ventilation in ensuring healthy indoor air quality. Discussions focused on industry trends, resiliency measures, and anticipated energy code trajectories. Attendees left equipped with knowledge on how to stay ahead of market demands and regulatory changes while enhancing home comfort, resiliency and durability.

Feedback and Future Training Opportunities
The post-training response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. All respondents said they would recommend the training, rating them as“High” or “Very High,” and will apply their new knowledge to improve the energy efficiency of their projects. The one piece of constructive feedback was that roughly half of the attendees said the training was too short. Given the demand for more in-depth knowledge, the BetterBuiltNW training team is planning specialized follow-up sessions based on the topics of interest expressed by attendees.

Thank You
A big thank you to our partners and everyone who participated. Your engagement helps drive the future of building in Bozeman and shapes the future of construction in our region. Stay tuned for details on upcoming sessions and be sure to secure your spot early.

We also invite current and future partners to email the BetterBuiltNW training team if you’d like to see this type of training hosted in your local area.

Keep building smart, Bozeman!


MT Training Partners

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