Low-energy, few hassles: A look at the Lemelson passive house (Photos)
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The northeast corner of Eric Lemelson's Karuna House. The exterior includes locally harvested and milled FSC cedar siding, which is the orange part. A low-cement-content lime plaster provides the cladding (that's the white part). Click through for more shots of the net-zero passive house.
Eric Lemelson had firmly caught the sustainability bug when he began building a second house.
Passive house: Take a tour of Oregon's latest hyper-efficient dwelling
It's little surprise, then, that Lemelson, who's dabbled in wine and green development, went all in. He built a passive house southwest of Portland that is not just energy-neutral, it's, well, pretty much neutral everything, at least in terms of building materials.
Consider the Newberg home's low-flow bath fixtures, bevy of certified woods, European tilt-turn triple glazed windows and a 10 kW photovoltaic solar array.
The home, called the Karuna House, will provide more energy than it will consume in a year. That, indeed, qualifies as Net Zero Energy.
"I decided to pursue a residential project with multiple certifications as a case study that could elucidate how each of the standards we chose works within the context of the Pacific Northwest to produce a home that is exceptionally energy efficient, comfortable, and adaptable to the construction methods, techniques, and materials available in the region," said Lemelson.
"While the broad focus of the project was on sustainability, my focus is on energy efficiency and designing a low-or-no-carbon future for the Pacific Northwest."
Lemelson said he'd do the project again in a heartbeat.
"We all learned a lot, and much fun was had," he said.
Click through on the photo above for a full tour of Lemelson's home. The outdoor sleeping area, in particular, is not to be missed.
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