A true furniture craftsman in Bozeman, MT

A true furniture craftsman in Bozeman, MT

Founded in 2005, Isaac Arms Studio Furniture evolved from the love of design, craft and the creation of beautiful objects. Situated in Bozeman, Montana, Isaac runs a limited production, design-build studio crafting functional sculpture for both residential and commercial environments. Working primarily in steel and wood, Isaac fabricates each piece individually, taking great pride in his workmanship and care for details. Combining these two natural materials in his pieces, Isaac relies on the steel to dictate the shape of the object, and the wood to create a warm and tactile interface between the object and user. The result of his laborious craft is an exceptionally designed, finely crafted, sophisticated and functional object that is steeped in human creativity.

Visit Isaac’s website, and be sure to check him out May 16-19 2009 at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in NYC.

Trends: smaller, more friendly

Trends: smaller, more friendly

We are starting to see some real estate deals pop up here and there – nothing too major but an indication of signs of life again. The few clients we have this year are focusing wisely on smaller, high end, energy efficient, mountain style/log and timber construction. Our clients aren’t interested in speculating these days, but rather want a home or cabin they can enjoy. The common trend seems to be a move away from the mega home and towards smaller homes that are environmentally and economically friendly and best of all don’t require a map to find the bathroom.

The theme? Don’t over do it, but even in these tight times there is much to enjoy. As my grandpa always said, “If you die with money in the bank, you haven’t budgeted very well.”

Get outside and enjoy it before it’s too late.

Head West

Head West

5 out of the top 15 housing markets in the U.S. are found in Montana.

I had to double check to make sure this list wasn’t published on April Fools Day – Fargo, ND made #2…?

  1. Billings, MT
  2. Fargo, ND
  3. Lander, WY
  4. Trenton, NJ
  5. Morgantown, WV

Read the entire article.

Union Pacific Dining Lodge

With a lot of interest and phone calls coming in this month from our feature RMR website photo, I though it prudent to run the UPDL project as this months feature project.

In 2007, RMR was awarded the bid and opportunity to do a full structural remodel on the UPDL building.  Consisting of log & timber, structural steel, masonry, electrical, HVAC, roofing, and finishes upgrades, the challenge was performing all scope to be hidden to the eye.  Each and every upgrade was completed with the end goal of keeping the historic structure unchanged by view and design.  The project was a striking success.

View a photo gallery

Solar Hot Water Basics

For my fellow construction geeks who have already read this article in  “Home Power Magazine” this may be old news to you… but for those who haven’t, this is a great summary on a few different types of Solar Heating Systems.

While most people are captivated by the high-tech nature of solar-electric (photovoltaic; PV) systems, in most cases, a solar hot water system will harvest more energy at a substantially lower cost. In fact, compared to PVs, solar hot water (SHW) collectors are more than three times as efficient at producing energy from the sun.

Investing in an SHW system is a smart solar solution for most homeowners. This proven and reliable technology offers long-term performance with low maintenance. And with federal, state, and utility incentives available, these systems offer a quick payback-in some cases, only four to eight years.

A thoughtfully designed SHW system could provide all, or at least a significant amount, of your household hot water needs for some portion of the year. The California Energy Commission estimates that installing an SHW system in a typical household using electric water heating can shave 60 to 70 percent off water heating costs. To get the most for your money, you«ll want a properly sized system that offers the best performance in your climate.

Read the full article

Wikipedia – Solar Water Heating

I am not really one to quote from a Tertiary source, but in this case Wikipedia has a great section on Solar Water Heating systems.  I have found the posted info to be quite thorough and accurate.  Read the full article and post your thoughts in the blog.

Solar water heating or solar hot water is water heated by the use of solar energy. Solar heating systems are generally composed of solar thermal collectors, a fluid system to move the heat from the collector to its point of usage. The system may use electricity for pumping the fluid, and have a reservoir or tank for heat storage and subsequent use. The systems may be used to heat water for a wide variety of uses, including home, business and industrial uses. Heating swimming pools, underfloor heating or energy input for space heating or cooling are more specific examples.

In many climates, a solar hot water system can provide up to 85% of domestic hot water energy.[1] This can include domestic non-electric concentrating solar thermal systems. In many northern European countries, combined hot water and space heating systems (solar combisystems) are used to provide 15 to 25% of home heating energy.

Residential solar thermal installations can be subdivided into two kinds of systems: passive (sometimes called “compact”) and active (sometimes called “pumped”) systems. Both typically include an auxiliary energy source (electric heating element or connection to a gas or fuel oil central heating system) that is activated when the water in the tank falls below a minimum temperature setting such as 50¡C. Hence, hot water is always available. The combination of solar water heating and using the back-up heat from a wood stove chimney to heat water[2] can enable a hot water system to work all year round in cooler climates, without the supplemental heat requirement of a solar water heating system being met with fossil fuels or electricity.

Read full article at Wikipedia