H&H Wins Custom Builder of the Year at Earth Advantage’s 2014 Green Home Builder Awards

Hammer & Hand Wins Custom Builder of the Year 2014

Chris “Coop” Cooper and Kevin Guinn accept the award for Custom Builder of the Year. Photo by Earth Advantage.

Hammer & Hand won Custom Builder of the Year at Earth Advantage’s 2014 Green Home Builder of the Year Awards.

“Earth Advantage is a key high performance building partner,” said Sam Hagerman, President of Hammer & Hand. “We’re honored to receive this award for our efforts in the field.”

The award was in recognition of Hammer & Hand’s people, projects, and leadership in the field of high performance building.


Hammer & Hand has become a focal point of high performance building and Passive House expertise. Co-owner Sam Hagerman, project supervisor Dan Whitmore, and building energy expert Skylar Swinford are all Certified Passive House Consultants (CPHCs). Sam served as inaugural president of the national Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS), playing a central leadership role in the promulgation of Passive House throughout the country. He continues to serve as a PHAUS board member. Dan developed the curriculum for and teaches the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) national Builders Training, instructing fellow builders from across the country on how to execute high performance construction. He also serves on the PHAUS board and is treasurer of Passive House Northwest. Skylar is both a sought-after Passive House consultant and one of the nation’s first PHIUS+ raters. All three are respected speakers and practitioners within the high performance building community. They are joined by the field crew of Hammer & Hand, a team that has become expert at on-the-ground implementation of precision high performance building assemblies.


To date, Hammer & Hand has built seven Passive House projects and consulted on dozens. The list includes:

  • Karuna House: the world’s first Passive House/Minergie/LEED project
  • Glasswood: North America’s first commercial Passive House retrofit
  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House: one of six “superefficient demonstration” homes featured by Northwest ENERGY STAR® (also Passive House, Earth Advantage Platinum, and DOE Zero Energy Ready Home)
  • Courtland Place Passive House: the first Passive House single family residence in Seattle (by Dan Whitmore)


As proponents of high performance building we actively share techniques and lessons with our builder colleagues. For two years running Hammer & Hand spearheaded the Passive House builders clinics at the JLC Live! Northwest convention in Portland, sharing high performance building tips with standing-room-only crowds of building professionals. Dan teaches builders from across the nation as a lead instructor for the PHIUS Builders Trainings. And our website has become a go-to resource for technical high performance building videos and blog posts.

Our most popular video, “Passive House Geofoam Foundation Installation at Karuna House,” has over 23,000 views to date.

Hammer & Hand has emerged as a national and regional leader in high performance building, bringing transformational energy performance and quality-assured durability to its residential and commercial projects in Portland and Seattle. We are honored to be recognized by Earth Advantage for our achievements in the field and look forward to continuing our work in Passive House and high performance building.


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