The ecosmart house includes sustainable products and materials, and also includes the concept of human sustainability with elements such as telemedicine and advanced concepts of human comfort and accessibility.
The desire to use less energy is driven by the desire to minimize the cost of energy use by the house, as well as lowering the environmental cost of the off-site production of energy to provide electricity to the house. To qualify for net-zero status, a home must produce more energy than it consumes over the course of a year. The goal of the REHAU MONTANA ecosmart house is to achieve near net-zero status by combining on-site power generation with efficiency measures to meet most of its own energy requirements.
This house is designed for a family with a member who uses a wheelchair. The accessibility concept in Montana is to make houses easy to visit for someone who may use a wheelchair, and to accommodate a family member who may become disabled at a future date. Features include:
The essence of home is to feel safe in an environment where you have the ability to control and enjoy your experiences. The REHAU Montana ecosmart House has been designed for aging-in-place. This concept refers to the ability to continue living safely, independently and accessibly in one’s home, not in a health care environment, even as health and ability circumstances change with age.
Universal Design emphasizes life-span living spaces with features such as open space, easy-to-use equipment, large storage capacities and circulation areas, which have been incorporated into this house.
Multi-generational living has become a growth industry and an emerging trend of both the recent economic downturn and an aging society. The rising number of older Americans requiring caregivers and the provision for multi-generational living can mitigate the needs of those unable to afford private care or unable to find professionals who provide it.
The REHAU Montana ecosmart house is designed for three generations living together – the homeowners, their daughter, currently in her mid-20s and who is confined to a wheelchair, and the homeowners’ parents. The upper floor is laid out with both an owner’s suite and a two bedroom apartment with a complete kitchen and common living room.