Northwest ENERGY STAR® Selects Pumpkin Ridge Passive House as Super-Efficient Demonstration Home

The Pumpkin Ridge Passive House, a North Plains, Oregon green home being built by Hammer & Hand and designed by Scott Edwards Architecture, will consume 90% less heating energy than a typical home.

Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

Rendering courtesy of Scott Edwards Architecture.

Portland, Oregon – The Pumpkin Ridge Passive House, being built by Hammer & Hand and designed by Scott Edwards Architecture, has been selected by Northwest ENERGY STAR® as one of six demonstration “super-efficient homes” in the Pacific Northwest.  The project on the western outskirts of Portland will deliver a high performance Passive House for an additional construction cost so modest that ongoing energy savings will offset it on a monthly basis.

“Our clients knew they wanted a very energy efficient, high performance home, but they didn’t think they could afford to build a Passive House,” said Sam Hagerman, co-owner of Hammer & Hand. “I had the pleasure of showing that when monthly energy costs are accounted for alongside the monthly cost for mortgage, taxes and insurance, owning and operating a Passive House need be no more expensive than your run-of-the-mill custom home.”

While Passive House (also known by the German “Passivhaus”) is the most stringent building energy standard in the world, it charts a practical path to revolutionary energy performance. New 21st century building science knowledge coupled with computer modeling make Passive House achievable for modest cost. At the beginning of the Pumpkin Ridge Passive House project Hammer & Hand ran thousands of simulations as part of a “parametric analysis” to optimize design elements like building siting, building shape, window placement, wall thickness, insulation levels, and other design parameters for the most cost-optimized design.  This process was key to the affordability of the project. (For more detail about the Passive House standard and how it’s achieved, visit http://hammerandhand.com/passive-house.)

Northwest ENERGY STAR‘s super-efficient homes demonstration program provides a new venue for raising awareness of high performance building like Passive House. As construction progresses at the Pumpkin Ridge Passive House, Hammer & Hand will share project blogs and video about the home’s design and construction on the super-efficient homes page of Northwest ENERGY STAR’s website.

“We’re happy that Northwest ENERGY STAR is working to raise awareness of both the practicality and the potential of super-efficient buildings,” said Hagerman. “Unfortunately, today’s building code doesn’t require us in the industry to build houses much better than we did two decades ago, and that’s a shame given the energy and climate challenges we face. The super-efficient homes featured by Northwest ENERGY STAR serve as a beacon for better building.”

Five other Pacific Northwest projects join Hammer & Hand’s Pumpkin Ridge Passive House on Northwest ENERGY STAR’s list of super-efficient demonstration projects, including:

  • Meadow Ranch, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  • The Montana Retreat, Ennis, Montana
  • Kepler Ridge, Ashland, Oregon
  • House of the Immediate Future, Seattle, Washington
  • The Inspiration Home, Olympia, Washington

For more about Northwest ENERGY STAR’s super-efficient homes demonstration project visit http://www.northwestenergystar.com/super-efficient-homes. For more about Passive House projects like Pumpkin Ridge, visit http://hammerandhand.com/passive-house.

About Hammer And Hand

With offices in Portland and Seattle, builder and remodeler Hammer & Hand is dedicated to stewardship of the built environment through craft and science, everything from traditional home remodels to commercial tenant improvements to modernist high performance structures. The contractor can be reached at its Portland office at http://hammerandhand.com, (503) 232-2447, or at its Seattle office at http://hammerandhand.com/seattle, (206) 397-0558.

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