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In Paradise Valley, Montana, experienced builder, Pouwel Gelderloos and family designed, built and are marketing the first “hybrid” house.
It is a hybrid because it can be completely self-sustaining (off the grid) but is also connected to the grid incase the need should arise for additional energy sources.
“It’s a beautiful, modern home that runs on all the most advanced alternative energy systems, yet is seamlessly tied in to all the conventional hookups of electric, water and gas. I can live on or off the grid as I choose,” Gelderloos says.
The house has a tri-level central octagonal area that was originally designed to follow the sun’s arc for energy use but ultimately became the face of the building that gives it its marketable appearance. It also contains wings off both sides and an atrium that wraps around the front. The structure is 3,000 sq. ft.
“Gelderloos’ goal was to construct an energy-efficient home that would blend in with the community; one he felt had ‘curb appeal’,” says Trendir.
After the design and implementation of his own hybrid house, Gelderloos created a business of educating, designing, and marketing sustainable homes called Oasis Hybrid Homes.
Some of the many attributes that these homes contain to be sustainable are:
- Passive and active solar/wind systems
- Rainwater harvesting systems
- Greywater reclamation and redistribution systems, including nourishing the plants and then flushing the toilets
- Energy efficient technology/plumbing with inexpensive and easily attainable parts
- The ability to grow your own food
- Environmentally friendly materials, such as concrete floors, blown-in insulation, an earth loop around the basement to harness nature’s own controlled temperatures, and wood stove/fire place
As the hybrid home’s demand grows, Gelderloos is willing to answer question so that others may build a uniquely sustainable, yet traditionally beautiful home and they have opened their home to tours, giving people the real experience of living with nature.
Hybrid is no longer a term used only to describe automotive systems, but now pertains, also, to the industries of home builders and owners.
Resources: Oasis Hybrid Homes, Trendir