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A Model Home for a Better Future

Known as the “Atlantic Idea House”, this residential home was upgraded with sustainable and energy efficient features in mind and will be used as an education tool to demonstrate energy efficiency and sustainable practices for homes in the community.

When the City of Boise acquired a house on the 2100 block of Atlantic Street in Boise’s Vista neighborhood, it quickly decided to make the home part of its Energize Our Neighborhoods initiative. Energize Our Neighborhoods, a collaboration between the city, community partners, local businesses, residents, and other public agencies, aligns resources to improve livability on a neighborhood level.

The energy-efficient features of the home include all-new foam insulation, triple-pane windows, and a ductless heat pump system. While these upgrades are more expensive, they have already proven to boost the energy efficiency of the house. Other energy conservation items include LED lights, weather stripping, energy-saving blinds, a solar tube, and energy star appliances.

To conserve water, the city has installed low-flow fixtures in the home and is incorporating water saving ideas into the landscaping, including low-water plantings, mulch, drip irrigation, and a rain barrel.

Onsite crews were also mindful of indoor air quality and used low volatile organic compound (VOC) products and installed a radon mitigation system.

Whenever possible, the city used sustainable materials and practices, including cork flooring, granite remnant countertops, tiles and laminate made from recycled content, a patio made from old concrete pieces, locally hand-painted kitchen cabinet knobs, and refinished the existing hardwood floors.

The city conducted an energy audit prior to the remodel and will be getting a post-renovation audit in April 2017 to compare to the earlier audit.

To showcase these improvements and encourage homeowners to take similar steps toward making their home more energy efficient, the city will host open houses and tours beginning in April through mid-November. During these tours, community members will have an opportunity to learn how they can implement one or several of these changes to save energy, money, and the environment.

With the Atlantic Idea House, the City of Boise hopes to empower area neighbors and the community to see first-hand what is possible for improved energy efficiency.  For those who wish to make improvements, loans may be available through Housing and Community Development for income eligible households.


Grey house with white front door and white roof trim with a rock pathway leading to door and desert landscaping.


Steps you can take to make your home more sustainable and energy efficient:

  • Visit the Atlantic Idea House and see first-hand the variety of energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home.
  • Receive a professional in-home energy audit to identify inefficiencies.
  • Complete the low-cost improvements before all others.
  • Prioritize larger, more expensive projects based on projected payback periods.
  • Improve building envelope (new windows, insulation, etc.) before sizing for new heating and cooling systems or adding solar power. These installations may allow for the purchase of smaller, less costly heating and cooling systems.
  • Use low volatile organic compound (VOC) products.
  • Look for appliances with the Energy Star label.
  • Use products that wear slowly and should not need replacing.
  • If you plan to hire a contractor, find one who is knowledgeable of energy efficient building techniques and materials.
Bathroom in a house featuring small vanity, mirror and doorway to hall.


Kitchen with stove, sink and refrigerator

Atlantic House Kitchen

Handmade kitchen knobs featuring hand-painted design of sunflower and polka-dots

Atlantic House Kitchen Hardware

Person holding a remote control that is pointed at heating and cooling device that is mounted on a wall

Atlantic House Heating and Cooling System

Living room in house featuring hardwood floors, chair, lamps and window.

Atlantic House Living Room

The Atlantic Idea House was made possible by these generous donors:

  • Boise Parks & Recreation Dept.
  • Boise Public Works Dept.
  • Borah High School, Jen Compton’s art class
  • Ceramica
  • Dave Kangas
  • Go Green Insulation
  • Idaho Power
  • Integrity Hardwood
  • Interior Systems Inc. (ISI)
  • Kathrine Delrich
  • Musgrove Engineering
  • OnPoint
  • Paige Mechanical Group
  • Pomeroy House Interiors
  • Republic Services
  • Shaw Flooring
  • Solar Concepts
  • Split Pea Edible Landscaping
  • Suez
  • Vikki Paulson
  • Wall 2 Wall
  • Whole Foods

Published: March 23, 2017