'Passive house' aggressively saves energy (photos)

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Cathy Cheney | Portland Business Journal

The Pumpkin Ridge Passive House features a super-insulated airtight building envelop that manages the transfer of heat, air and moisture. Click through for a look at several of the Passive House's energy-saving and no-impact heating and cooling features.

A new North Plains house is providing a laboratory for builders and architects who have created what they say is top-notch, even revolutionary, comfort at a minimal cost.

Passive House: Take a walk through an extremely efficient North Plains abode

The Pumpkin Ridge Passive House is so tightly insulated, utilizes windows and other features along its skin and collects energy from such a wide array of sources that it doesn't even have a furnace. It requires 90 percent less energy to heat than conventional homes despite being nuzzled into a shaded and forested section of the Oregon Coast Range's foothills.

One other thing: The Passive House has no solar panels. It repurposes energy from appliances and laundry facilities through its elongated floor plan.

Hammer & Hand and Scott Edwards Architecture LLP built the 3,000-square-foot house for about $225 a square foot. It is no more expensive to upkeep than a conventional custom home when monthly energy costs are taken into consideration alongside the mortgage, taxes and insurance.

The Pumpkin Ridge Passive House is one of just a handful of super-efficient building efforts in the Pacific Northwest. Click on the image above for a glance at the North Plains project.

Click the image above to take a tour of the Passive House.


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