Portland's 'Water House' hits the market at a bargain price
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
City Commissioner Nick Fish directed Portland's Water Bureau to sell the house at a loss so he can redirect the funds toward cutting utility rates.
Portland’s Water Bureau revealed Tuesday morning it will sell the so-called “Water House,” which aimed to showcase water conservation methods in its Northeast Portland neighborhood.
City Commissioner Nick Fish said the home, at 1616 N.E. 140th Ave. will go on the market for $475,000. The city had put some $950,000 into the home as it sought to demonstrate ways homeowners could save water and otherwise operate a sustainable abode.
H&H Real Estate will sell the home. Fish, who took over the bureau earlier this year, wants to put the proceeds back into the bureau to stabilize water rates.
“My focus is on delivering the best water in the country to over 900,000 Oregonians,” Fish said in a release.
The home was built on vacant surplus property which had housed two decommissioned groundwater wells. More than 40 partners and sponsors contributed to the house, which some 2,500 people toured since it opened in early 2011. City officials hosted workshops and classes on grey-water use, low-use irrigation and other water efficiency practices.
The home is certified as Earth Advantage Platinum and by Energy Star. It’s also the Oregon’s first WaterSense-certified home, according to Fish’s office.
The home cost $374,430 to build. The extra $484,174 in “soft costs” included design, construction management and inspection staff time.
Sponsors donated $157,914 worth of products and services to the effort.
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