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Island Jewel

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Jun 27, 2014 9:42:52 AM

Ellis used the short eaves space upstairs to store a single Geyser heat pump water heater. He needed to provide enough capacity for four bathrooms and an outdoor shower. So the two hot water tanks act as storage and are plumbed in line with the Geyser heat pump providing heat for the system. The heat pump runs on standard 110 volt power. As the systems use ambient hot air to heat water, they blow out colder air, cooling the “outdoor” hallway. Also in this space is the 4.5 ton 16 SEER Trane high-efficiency heat pump that conditions living areas.

PROBABLY THE GREENEST way builder Steve Ellis could have used his island property would have been to continue enjoying it as a festive site for bonfires and camping.

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Topics: 1600 to 2500 square feet, natural daylighting, housewrap, spray foam insulation, salvaged materials, Recycled Products

Tiny Houses: Artistic Hideaway

Posted by Juliet Grable

Jun 9, 2014 3:58:00 PM

MOTIVATED TO REDUCE their footprint and their overhead, Kol Peterson and Deb Delman chose a lot in a walkable, bikeable Northeast Portland neighborhood for their Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU.
“The project encompassed a bunch of passions,” says Peterson, who works as Web manager for the Forest Service. Stephen Smith of Design Build Portland acted as general contractor, but Peterson and Delman put in an estimated $15,000 in sweat equity.

Their two-bedroom house measures 799 square feet, but feels much larger, thanks to Studio Eccos designer Brint Riggs’ open plan. The ground level includes a vaulted kitchen, living room nook and a corner office that doubles as a second bedroom. Upstairs, a short bridge connects the master bedroom to the bathroom, and shows off the custom steel railing.

Local artisans added personal touches to the house. Eric Bohne and stained-glass artist David Schlicker collaborated on a stained-glass starburst in a hinged steel frame, which acts as a sound barrier between the master bedroom and the vaulted space. Peterson sourced fixtures from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, flooring from Craigslist, doors from the Rebuilding Center.

Their ADU has been featured on Portland’s Build it Green! (BIG!) Tour two years in a row, and earned an Energy Performance Score of 35. The project came in at just under $100,000; best of all, rental income from the front house now covers the couple’s mortgage.

“I didn’t know a thing about this when we started,” says Peterson, who chronicled the experience in a detailed blog. Last year he began hosting workshops to help people navigate through the process of building their own ADUs.
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Topics: 1500 square feet or less, Energy Recovery Ventilation, energy efficient windows, LED Lighting, Recycled Products

Near Future Vision

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 31, 2014 1:02:15 PM

The 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle celebrated all things Space Age, including the American Home of the Immediate Future, a prefab modular house. Fifty years later, the Miller Hull Partnership’s Ron Rochon decided to revisit the idea.
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Topics: net-zero energy, 1500 square feet or less, radiant heating systems, Recycled Products

Small Wonder

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

May 14, 2014 12:47:00 PM

Photos by Neil Kelly

NEIL KELLY DESIGNER Michael Mahoney had his work cut out for him with this Bend, Oregon bath remodel.

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Topics: bathroom, Residential Retrofit, salvaged materials, Oregon, Recycled Products

Condo Kitchen Reborn

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

May 14, 2014 12:34:00 PM

Photos by Darren S Higgins, DH Photography

ALAN ABRAMS HAS been building green for decades, starting with a modest adobe he built by hand in New Mexico. The motto of his Maryland-based company, Abrams Design Build, is “sustainable design for intentional living.”

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Topics: kitchen, Greenguard, FSC Certified Lumber, Residential Retrofit, salvaged materials, Maryland, Recycled Products


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