Gallery: TrekHaus passive home provides a living lab
By Lee van der Voo
Sustainable Business Oregon contributing writer
Welcome to the TrekHaus, a net-zero passive house in Southeast Portland. A duplex, it was built for the price of $150 a square foot, excluding the cost of land and its rooftop solar system. A certified Passive House, also Earth Advantage Platinum certified, Trekhaus was designed to — as they say in Star Trek — boldly go where no man has gone before all while staying put.
TrekHaus, a duplex built at Southeast Taylor and 43rd in Portland to Passive House standards, passed its one-year mark of occupancy in December with better than net-zero results.
In the first year in the home, its owners and west-unit occupants used 3,322 kilowatt hours of electricity, or about 9 kilowatt hours a day.
Take a look inside the TrekHaus >>
They added solar panels to the roof of the west unit in May 2012, and in 7.5 months generated 3,748 kilowatt hours, donating excess to Portland General Electric's low-income assistance program.
Meanwhile, the Green Building Research Lab at Portland State University is monitoring both units to study building performance, energy use, occupant behavior in net-zero homes and to monitor phase change material in the walls, which is installed like insulation behind drywall to minimize temperature fluctuation.
In 2011, Sustainable Business Oregon visited the TrekHaus construction site to learn more about the passive construction.
This week, we visited again to bring readers a look inside the occupied home.
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