About the FLAT

The University of Montana Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT)  is an experiential live-in resource (house) for UM students to demonstrate the practicality of sustainable living. In a time of rising energy costs, 'conservation of energy' is the most effective means of demonstrating appropriate development at UM and Missoula. By experimenting with and educating others about the social, ethical, and environmental benefits of appropriate technology, the UM FLAT will help to establish the University of Montana as a model for exhibiting efficient building practices. The ultimate goal of the UM FLAT is to encourage the development of efficient and affordable homes for a sustainable society. By retro-fitting an existing home, the UM FLAT demonstrates how such resources could be easily applied to the Missoula community.

Up to six UM students (grad and undergrad) live in the house. In exchange for rent, each member of the house contributes 10-15 hours of work per week to the FLAT’s upkeep and ongoing activities and service projects. Some of these projects include: 

  • Designing, funding, and implementing sustainable projects (past examples include solar panels, a garden, solar dehydrators, etc.)
  • Hosting events and activities in the UM FLAT Studio (a remodeled two-car garage turned community meeting space)
  • Holding workdays and workshops for volunteers
  • Giving tours to classes and groups
  • Involving student interns
  • Representing our interests in housing and sustainability to UM administrators
  • Partnering with professors, student groups, and community organizations to provide learning opportunities

Check out the UM FLAT blog and the UM FLAT Facebook page!

UM FLAT Studio

The UM FLAT Studio is a meeting space for UM students, courses, and community organizations.

Envisioned, designed, and executed by students (with help from our gracious mentors) the UM FLAT Studio features passive solar design, straw bale and recycled paper insulation, hand-mixed clay plastered wall, locally harvested wood paneling, thermal mass concrete flooring, pellet-stove heating, double studded walls, and student artwork.

30 chairs, 4 long tables, and a projector screen are available.  More chairs and tables, dishware, silverware, mugs and glasses, hot water container, and speakers are available upon request.

For more information and availability, email

Faculty contact: Josh Slotnick