Dismantling a home might be almost as much fun as building one. Riverbend Builders was responsible for taking down the old home and saving as much useful material as possible to be put to work in the new home.

One of these items was a stone fireplace with high sentimental value to the owners. A geological representation of the Gallatin Valley, the fireplace had been built by a friend. We took great care in preserving it, which meant tearing down the house around it while leaving the two-story fireplace standing on its own. We then built the new home around it, creating a continuous insulated envelope. From the rest of the house, we rescued floor joists, which we used as rafter tails, and other framing members, which we milled into interior trim.

In terms of sustainable construction methods, the house boasts Nexcem wall construction that creates a huge thermal mass in the home that, once warmed or cooled, keeps the temperature very even. Stained concrete floors that are heated by radiant tubes run throughout the house.

Much of the home’s floor plan takes advantage of passive solar gain and natural daylight, and there’s also a 5.5kw photovoltaic system on two of the roofs and a solar hot water panel sitting prominently on the south wall by the front walk. This panel provides domestic hot water for the owners. A well was also drilled on-site for landscape irrigation and is used to supply non-potable locations in the house, such as showers and toilets. The architect was Thor Arnold of Zimtor Architecture.