Dundee 'passive' house represents new market
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The Passivhaus-certified home in Dundee will retain a constant air temperature.
A Passivhaus-certified home in Dundee represents a new trend in building for aging Baby Boomers, providing a net-zero energy living space with above-average air quality.
Portland-based Green Hammer helped Lynne Taccongna and Bob Donough design and build a 1,300-square-foot dream retirement home that achieved the rigorous, European-developed Passivhaus certification.
While more than 25,000 such buildings exist in Europe, fewer than 50 buildings in the United States meet this rigorous, near net-zero energy standard that puts an emphasis on insulation and airflow control to cut heating and cooling needs.
But Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer's president and founder said that's changing fast.
Aiguier estimates there are about 17 projects — several of them multi-family buildings bringing the total number of dwelling units to 243 — that are in some stage of passive house certification. Aiguier estimates that Green Hammer has been involved as at least a consultant with about 220 of them.
"There's definitely a shift happening," Aiguier said. "These kinds of buildings are going to end up being much more standard."
Mutli-family projects that Green Hammer has been involved in include the Mark O. Hatfield building which has 106 units, a six-unit project called Ankeny Row on Portland's eastside and a 55-unit apartment building in Orenco Station.
The home for Tacconga and Donough was built for about a 12 percent price increase over a standard single family home, Aiguier said. He said that for older adults who want to age in place, the passive house model is very well suited.
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