Design-Build Collaboration Celebrated by the City of Portland

While the Build It Green! Home Tour is officially focused on affordable housing, Passive Houses, and small footprint homes, it unofficially celebrates an unsung hero: design-build collaboration.

Portland Design Build And not just the conventional model in which a builder subsumes the architect’s responsibilities or vice versa.  Also the more holistic form that facilitates and fosters participation by all three “legs” of the project development “stool”: the designer, builder and client, as individually-empowered stakeholders advocating for project success.  (We’ve blogged here before about this model of design-build.)

Deep collaboration is important at every step of any green building project, from schematic design, to design development to actual construction.  Why?  Because the creation of a sustainable home involves a complex web of interconnected systems.  Diverse perspectives and expertise are necessary to navigate this ecosystem, mitigating tradeoffs and maximizing synergies.

This kind of design-build collaboration isn’t always easy, but the hard-won solutions produced by it form the bedrock for green building innovation.  Build It Green! features 21 examples along a broad continuum of this innovation, 2 built by Hammer and Hand and 19 others built by our peers, including:

  • the joint efforts of young architect and experienced remodeler to create the CoreHaus Passive House;
  • the Wilson Renovation’s client-driven partnership with an independent builder to achieve near-zero energy for a 1950s ranch house;
  • the husband and wife collaboration to plan, design and build the Rubado Redux bungalow restoration.


Back to Field Notes