Swift Building Lofts


The Swift Building renovation utilized a unique blend of historic preservation and green building practices.  Located in downtown Billings, Swift Building Lofts have nine units, four of which are furnished for short term extended stay.

Swift Building Lofts was awarded a LEED platinum rating which makes it one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings in the country.  Refer to the Sustainability page for a complete list of green features in the Swift Building Lofts.

The Swift and Company Building was significant both for its historical associations and its architectural character.  The renovation, Certified Historic Tax Credit rehabilitation, strictly adhered to Historic Preservation practices, which resulted in a listing on the National Register of Historic Preservation.

A team of talented professionals worked on the renovation and others continue to provide service in some capacity. Please see them on the Partners page.


In the early 1990’s I came across a saying that went something like this: “The greenest building is the building that doesn’t get built.” Seems reasonable. No additional energy is required to operate a non-building. But I think we can one-up that. By renovating an existing inefficient building and making it very energy efficient, there’s actually a net reduction in energy use. And when the saved embodied energy of retaining a historic building is considered, the savings are even greater. Demolishing the Swift Building and constructing a new similarly-sized building would require the energy equivalent of more than 51 years worth of operating energy for the Swift Building Lofts. That’s the equivalent of 168,575 gallons of gasoline.

The Swift Building Lofts project transforms a handsome and robust, but energy inefficient historic building, into a high-performance green building permeated with 90 years of character. Thus, a more appropriate saying is: “The greenest building is the building that’s already built.”

Ed Gulick, High Plains Architects
Project Architect, Swift Building Renovation
LEED Accredited Professional