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July 14, 2010

Enviro-friendly building designer heats things up

Here's some from an article I have on Christian Milaster and his Be!Cause Group. The full piece is posted here.

The puzzle of building an environmentally friendly home that is economically reasonable and still comfortable is a challenge.

"We looked around quite a bit," says Shalise Keating. "We're concerned about the environment and we want to do our piece."

82cj77xxhnvfsf71420108415 In the end, Keating and her partner, Jill Kelly, turned to local engineer Christian Milaster and his Be!Cause Group to create a plan for their Fillmore County home.

"I think he does a better job of putting all of the pieces of together than anyone else we've found," Keating says as their 4,200-square-foot, three-story house is being built in Fillmore County.

It will be heated by the sun, and all of its water will be provided from a 20,000-gallon cistern.

Creating such plans was not something Milaster ever imagined he'd be doing when he moved to the United States from Germany in 1998.

However, looking back, he says it's not surprising that as an engineer he "stumbled" into the field.

After visiting Dream Acreas, an organic farm in Wykoff, Milaster was fascinated by the completely sustainable, off-the-grid lifestyle.

"The idea of sustainable living appealed to my engineer mind," he says.

After two years of research, he built his own sustainable home in rural Lanesboro that he playfully named Project Licht 'n Stein.

"I wanted to create the smallest energy footprint possible without losing any comfort. I like living a completely modern lifestyle with wireless Internet and hot water," he says.

After moving into his solar-heated house, with its $100 a year utility bills, Milaster started hosting open houses to share what he had learned building his rural homestead with a home theater and whole-house stereo system.

Open house
Christian Milaster is hosting another open house for his Project Licht 'n Stein home in rural Lanesboro from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The house at 100 Hidden Valley Drive is about 45 minutes from Rochester.

For more information and directions, visit his website.


The stuff Mr. Milaster has done with sustainable living is pretty amazing. I'm excited to be heading out to the open house on Saturday to see it in action!

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