Earth Day Round Up: Passive and High Performance Builds

For Earth Day this year, we’re taking a walk down memory lane – with a specific focus on our passive and high performance builds.

Calls for action to combat climate change have grown substantially since Hammer & Hand was brought to life in 1995, and we take pride in continuing and growing our eco-conscious building efforts over the years. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of our Passive House and High Performance builds, retrofits, and woodshop creations.

Front of House with Blinds Open | Hammer & Hand

Madrona Passive House

First up on our list is our Madrona Passive House, designed by SHED Architecture and Design and built by Hammer & Hand’s Seattle team. Built on a steep slope in Seattle overlooking Lake Washington, the home features an airtight, super insulated envelope, a 7kW solar system, exterior mechanical blinds and triple-pane windows, a green roof and rainwater harvesting system, and more!

Read more about the Madrona Passive House:

Madrona Passive House Portfolio

Excel Designer Turned Climate Advocate Builds Madrona Passive House

Madrona Passive House Construction Begins on a Seattle Hillside

Airtightness at Madrona Passive House? Easy Peasy

Madrona Passive House Progress & NW Green Home Tour

Madrona Passive House Wall Assembly, Illustrated


Back of Karuna Passive House by Portland New Home Builder Hammer & Hand

Karuna House

Next is the Karuna House, built by Hammer & Hand’s Portland team and designed by Holst Architecture. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the vineyards of Yamhill County, Oregon, the home is the first green building in the world to earn Passive House (PHIUS+), Minergie-P-ECO, and LEED for Homes Platinum certifications. The client, a leading proponent of smart climate policy, pursued the project as a case study to compare the world’s most ambitious green building standards.

Read more about the Karuna House:

Karuna House Portfolio

Green Building Lessons from Karuna House

Karuna House Earns First Minergie Pre-Certification in the US, Receives Official Designation as “US-001-P-ECO”

Hammer & Hand Adds High Performance Doors to Millwork Arsenal for Karuna House – Passivehaus Efficiency Made in the USA

LEED Can Learn: Green Lessons from Karuna Passive House

“Triple Crown” in Green Building is Made Official As Karuna House Earns LEED for Homes Platinum Certification


Wallingford Passive House

Designed by Whitney Architecture and built by Hammer & Hand, the Wallingford Passive House incorporates unique features among single-family Passive House projects, including an elevator inside the envelope to provide future accessibility for clients wanting an age-in-place home. Construction of the project incorporated materials salvaged from the original home, along with triple-glazed windows, an air exchanger to bring in fresh air, and passive wall insulation techniques.

Read more about the Wallingford Passive House:

Wallingford Passive House Portfolio

Blower Door Test at Wallingford Passive House Easily Beats the Mark


Pumpkin Ridge Passive House at Dusk in Oregon

Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

The Pumpkin Ridge Passive House, built by Hammer & Hand and designed by Scott|Edwards Architecture, was crafted to harness the simplicity of Passive House design to deliver superb comfort and efficiency at minimal added construction cost. The home boasts multiple certifications, including the Passive House Earth Advantage Net Zero Ready, Department of Energy Challenge Home (ENERGY STAR, Indoor AirPLUS), Passive House (PHIUS+), and Earth Advantage Platinum certifications.

Read more about the Pumpkin Ridge Passive House:

Pumpkin Ridge Passive House Portfolio

Passive House Clients Share Experience of Performance and Comfort in New Home

Green Home Building Project Awarded Platinum Certification from Earth Advantage Institute

Pumpkin Ridge Passive House One of Six Super-Efficient Homes Featured by Northwest Energy Star


Commercial Remodel in Portland OR by General Contractor Hammer & Hand

Glasswood Passive House Retrofit

The owners of this historic building set out to create a restaurant on the ground floor and office space on the second floor that would offer super-efficient energy performance and superior comfort while preserving the structure’s historic character. Built by Hammer & Hand and designed by Scott|Edwards Architecture, this project was the first commercial Passive House retrofit in the US and demonstrates the potential for high performance, low-load building to transform the energy efficiency, occupant experience, and marketability of existing commercial spaces.

Read more about the Glasswood Passive House Retrofit:

Glasswood Passive House Retrofit Portfolio

Hammer & Hand and Scott Edwards Architecture Begin Nation’s First Commercial Passive House Retrofit

Construction Methods and Approach to the Glasswood Commercial Passive House Retrofit

Nation’s First Commercial Passive House Retrofit Becomes Occupied Passive House Office Space

Glasswood Commercial Passive House Retrofit Includes High Efficiency Restaurant, Xico

New Videos Shed Light On Building Science Used At Glasswood Commercial Passive House Retrofit

Hammer & Hand Wins Two “2014 Outstanding Remodeling Achievement” Awards from the Oregon Remodelers Association


Modern Passive House Door

Crafted to be installed in our client’s Passive House in Chicago, this high performance door features a grain-matched wenge wood veneer with an opaque side light in the frame.

Read more about this door:

Client Reviews Custom High Performance Door Built by Hammer & Hand

Hammer & Hand High Performance Doors


Arched Casement High Performance Door

This high performance door is crafted from quarter-sawn sapele wood with triple-paned glass windows. It has 2 inches of polyiso insulation and has a 4 inch thick door slab. The door was built for a client in coastal Maine and weighed in at 650 pounds!

Read more about this door:

Hammer & Hand High Performance Doors


Craftsman High Performance Door

The exterior side of this high performance door features mahogany panels with dentil shelf and a custom oil finish, while the interior side was prepared with white primer for the home owner to paint. To provide proper air sealing, the Hammer & Hand woodshop team installed two silicone gaskets and a Poseidon multipoint lock.

Read more about this door:

Hammer & Hand High Performance Doors


That’s all for now! Contact us today to get started on a project of your own – we’d love to discuss it with you!

For additional photos, videos, progress information, and more, check out our social media channels, or sign up for our monthly newsletter:

Join Our Newsletter

Back to Field Notes