BY BRIAN LIBBY
This Satuday, September 24, brings the the 10th annual "Build It Green!" homes tour (the exclamation point is theirs), a self-guided tour of 22 remodels and new homes around the Portland metropolitan area that have been designed and constructed with sustainable principles in mind.
The tour, scheduled for 11AM to 5PM, also includes a New Info Fair at Ecohaus (819 SE Taylor, Portland) from 10AM to 2PM with green vendors, demonstrations, food, drink and music. Admission to the tour is $15, or $10 for seniors, students and those taking alternative transportation. Children 13 years and older will be admitted free to the tour, and the Info Fair is free to everyone. You can purchase tickets online here.
Among those homes included in the tour are the Booth Remodel, which transformed a 120-year-old Victorian cottage to include on rainwater harvesting, renewable solar energy (PV and domestic water heating) and energy efficiency upgrades. Upgrades include an air-to-air heat pump, rainwater cisterns for garden irrigation, and high-efficiency windows. Committed to environmental education, Ms. Booth drives a zebra-striped electric car and has a kiosk outside her home describing the structure’s green retrofit story.
Another project on the tour is the Woodhole Duplex, a formerly dilapidated 1905 rental duplex rehabilitated and upgraded with an eye towards design simplicity, affordability, accessibility and ease of maintenance. A tankless water heater supplies both units, as well as separate utility metering, solar tubes, and a wheelchair ramp, roll-under sink, wide doors (aging-in-place amenities) into the lower unit.
The Gray-Okulitch residence, an accessory dwelling unit designed by Departure Design and built by Hammer & Hand (which, in full disclosure, is a Portland Architecture sponsor), applies Passive House principles with small-living design for a prototype that can be adapted for infill lots. Some of the energy features include energy modeling, airtight construction, insulated foam foundation slab and monolithic insulation (ICFs). This equals simplicity, environmental responsibility and affordability for tenants.
Hawthorne Park Studio Addition (image courtesy Constructive Form Architecture)
There is also the Hawthorne Park Studio Addition, designed by Constructive Form Architecture and built by Citilities Builders. This compact addition is on the site of the former garage for a 1913 home on a 50-by-50-foot corner lot. It is designed as a studio for the homeowners and can be converted into an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) at a later date. The rooftop can be accessed from a pair of skylights. Rainwater is retained on-site for irrigation of planned native gardens providing an urban wildlife habitat. The concrete foundation slab is the exposed interior finish surface, and includes hydronic floor heating. Douglas fir tongue-and-groove decking is used for the structural floor of the upper level. Triple-glazed windows are used with walls and roof insulated above code standards. This project is all electric, with no fossil fuels used on-site within the addition.
One of the most impressive buildings on this homes tour isn't a home. The June Key Delta House, designed by Nye Architecture, houses the June Key Delta sorority, founded by African American women in 1945. The project renovated a 1967 brownfield building as an opportunity to grow and share sustainable design from grassroots efforts. The first Portland Building to meet Living Building Challenge strictures, the center has office space for non-profits, event space and an exhibit gallery. A community garden is on the adjoining lot.