Kris Wilson

The new house is one of seven certified at LEED Platinum level in Billings, Montana.

This article was originally published on Last Best News on August 26, 2017, and is reposted with permission. Read the original article. Feature image photo credit: John Warner.

High Plains Architects has been awarded LEED Platinum certification for the Urban Frontier House, the personal residence of firm founders Randy and Janna Hafer.

The house, designed to be totally off the grid, is located at 702 N. 23rd St. It includes self-contained, self-sustaining systems for energy, water, and wastewater, including photovoltaic panels, rainwater collection, DC lighting, composting toilets, a wind turbine and an indoor garden room. Renewable and reclaimed materials are featured prominently throughout the house.

Platinum is the highest level of certification in the LEED rating system.

In a press release, High Plains Architects said the Urban Frontier House achieved LEED homes certification for implementing practical, measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Hafer said the house is the latest in a list of seven of LEED Platinum-certified buildings in Billings, five of them designed by High Plains and all of them located in the downtown area.

“That is an impressive feat that puts Billings way ahead of any other city in the region,” Hafer said.

The LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

A home can achieve LEED certification under the LEED Homes program after undergoing a technically rigorous process, including the incorporation of green strategies to achieve efficiency and healthy indoor environments.

The sound design and operation of the home is tested and measured using tools like a home energy rating, blower door testing and onsite inspections.

“With each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC’s vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council. “As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, the Urban Frontier House is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement.”