Tag: HRV

Vision becomes a reality

We recently posted a picture of a new design we were working on with one of our client. Construction started this past spring and the project is taking on its own identity.  This project is nestled among the timbers on the south side of Whitefish and features an above code insulation package and LifeBreath HRV (heat recovery ventilator).   This home will perform as well as it looks.


Air Quality

We recently received this message from one of our clients and thought it was too good not to share. The link included has a great message and the affirmation from our client speaks volumes for our philosophy.

“This morning, a home-inspector friend shared this article on Facebook: http://www.buellinspections.com/what-is-perhaps-the-single-most-important-thing-you-need-to-know-about-the-modern-home-you-live-in/ I read it, being lured in by the title and the curiosity if I knew what I needed to about our recently built home. Needless to say, I was delighted when I learned that the author of the article was referring to air-flow: the single most important element Mindful Designs focused on when building our home. It’s noticeable. You walk into a house that is at the same time “tight” and also “fresh.” It’s remarkable. I’m so glad we trusted Dave’s knowledge, wisdom, and sophisticated thinking when putting in our HRV. There are lots of great things about our Mindful Home but perhaps the fact that our air is never stale, heated air isn’t wasted, and our home is well insulated is number one. Thanks again!”

It’s all about the Green

Mindful Designs worked closely with the client to design a truly custom home of rustic modern design that blurs the lines between outdoors and indoors on this challenging site. The Clients wanted to have a home with as little environmental impact as possible and take advantage of the limited southerly exposure while making the most of the spectacular views.

With the focus being on an environmentally friendly home, we invested in SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) for their wall system and R 60 Cellulose insulation to reduce energy needs to heat the home. We turned to a reclaimed exterior siding and finish package to provide the “rough and raw” aesthetic they wanted while nearly eliminating timber harvesting for their siding and reducing their needs for maintenance into the future.

The home owners made the decisions to harvest native plants off their site before construction and re-vegetate the site with these same plants reducing the need for constant lawn care chemicals and irrigation.


We prioritized all zero VOC paints and an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) over extravagant finishes. From the recycled Paperstone countertops, all Water Sense plumbing fixtures, all energy star appliances, recycled rubber with no adhesive exercise room flooring, to the reclaimed interior trim package and flooring, these clients invested in their commitment to a home that is environmentally sensitive.




Backup Generator

One of our current construction projects is in an extremely remote location in the hills above Whitefish MT.  This house is designed and built with many above code energy saving components.  The installation and performance of these systems is being third party verified in the field on the way to Energy Star Certification for this home.

In case of an emergency, the home has been wired to run the critical circuits when the utility fed power grid goes down.   The critical circuits for the home include well pump, LED lighting throughout the home, refrigerator, freezer, Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), ground source heat pump with Unico High Velocity Heat Distribution system, garage door opener, etc. from a propane backup generator. This gives the Clients incredible peace of mind knowing that all the critical functions of the home can operate for months at a time with no utility grid power running off the buried propane tank.

The backup generator is permanently located on a concrete slab outside of the home and is extremely quiet to operate.  The generator is connected to the power grid so that its battery stays charged and it will turn on automatically in case of power failure.  This model propane generator has been field proven in MT for years and should last the life of the home.


For additional alternative energy products, we recommend calling us at Mindful Designs.

Energy Star

Mindful Designs is happy to have recently completed a home that is Energy Star rated. Final third party verification is underway according to the most recent and stringent Energy Star for Homes V3 guidelines.  This is a custom design build home in Haskill Basin featuring double stud walls, air seal, HRV and Geothermal heating amongst other high performance items.   This is such a low environmental impact home that even the exterior trim was milled from onsite timbers.  Congratulations to the new home owners who will enjoy an ultra energy efficient home for many many years.



Double Stud Wall Home

After being quiet on the blog for a couple months, it is time to give an update to all of our readers.  In the last couple of months we have been busy in the field completing a number of new construction projects and we are moving right into drying in a double stud wall home and working on some fun new designs as well as some remodels

The double stud wall home is an ultra-efficient framed home built with numerous energy conservation measures including air sealed drywall and framing techniques, above code insulation and thermal envelope, geothermal heating, a Heat Recovery Ventalator (HRV -for energy savings while providing fresh air for the best interior air quality) are just a few of the features of this custom home.

The double stud walls system is constructed by having a 2×6 load bearing stud-wall, then an air space to prevent thermal bridging, then a second interior non – load baring 2 x 4 stud-wall.  The bottom plates and all corner framing are sealed with beads of mastic during construction.  The wide cavity walls are then completely filled with cellulose insulation.  The window bucks and the perimeter of all drywall are also sealed with mastic.  All perforations of the thermal envelope (outlets, lights, vents, etc) are then completely sealed with sprayfoam and/or mastic.  This system creates an extremely efficient building envelope with managed air exchange via the HRV.  In addition to this, the traditional framing is from local small diameter timber which is abundant and a very renewable resource.  The insulation is cellulose which is a recycled product, this is a very environmentally friendly and highly energy efficient building system.