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Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

ENTRANT: Hammer & Hand
Project Location: North Plains, Oregon
Category: Mainstream Green
HERS Rating5

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  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

    The project began with a detailed shading  and  solar  access  analysis  to  guide  siting  and orientation Photo: ©Jeffrey Tan

  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

    The exterior of the home uses cedar with clear cedar coating and low-VOC acrylic on hardiplank and panel. Photo: ©Jeffrey Tan

  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

    Shown here: Zola high performance windows and patio doors. Photo: ©Jeffrey Tan


  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

    The original site analysis clearly revealed the project’s daylighting potential and solar access, which then shaped the schematic design of the house. Photo: ©Jeffrey Tan

  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

    Various flooring is used throughout the house including pre-finished domestic hardwood, concrete in basement, marmoleum in entry way and tile in master bath. Photo: ©Jeffrey Tan

  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

    The modest increase in the homeowners’ monthly mortgage payment to finance the project as a Passive House is paid for by reduced monthly energy bills, thanks to a 90% reduction in heating demand. Photo: ©Jeffrey Tan

Project Overview

The  Pumpkin  Ridge  Passive  House  (3,093  SF),  designed  by  Scott|Edwards  Architecture  and  built  by  Hammer  &   Hand,  demonstrates  the  power  of  super-­‐efficient  construction  to  make  net  zero  energy  building  practical  and   affordable. The  key  is  to  focus  first  on  energy  conservation,  and  Passive  House  provides  the  cost-­‐effective  path.    

At  Pumpkin  Ridge  Passive  House,  the  added  upfront  expense  of  achieving  Passive  House  is  offset  by  savings  on   utility  bills. The  modest  increase  in  the  homeowners’  monthly  mortgage  payment  to  finance  the  project  as  a   Passive  House  is  paid  for  by  reduced  monthly  energy  bills,  thanks  to  a  90%  reduction  in  heating  demand. To   accomplish  this,  Hammer  &  Hand  ran  a  thorough  parametric  analysis  on  the  project,  using  the  power  of  computer   modeling  to  run  literally  thousands  of  simulations  of  building  siting,  shape,  window  placement,  wall  thickness,  and   insulation  levels  to  cost-­‐optimize  the  design. Recognizing  the  project’s  success  in  cost-­‐effective  building  energy   transformation,  Northwest  ENERGY  STAR®  featured  the  home  as  one  of  six  “superefficient  demonstration  homes”   in  the  Pacific  Northwest. Pumpkin  Ridge  Passive  House  is  Earth  Advantage  Home  Platinum,  Department  of  Energy   Challenge  Home  (ENERGY  STAR,  Indoor  AirPLUS),  and  Passive  House  (PHIUS+)  certified.        

With  this  level  of  energy  efficiency  in  place,  a  relatively  modest  investment  in  solar  PV  (10kw,  with  a  payback  of  10   years)  brought  the  project  into  net  zero  energy  territory. Energy  monitoring  will  determine  what  side  of  the  NZE   line  the  project  falls  on  after  a  year  of  occupant  behavior,  but  at  a  HERS  rating  of  just  5  the  project  has  achieved   “deep  green”  status,  affordably. Furthermore,  once  the  PV  system  has  paid  for  itself,  the  homeowners  will  enjoy   positive  cash  flow  from  their  energy  generation  for  the  life  of  the  solar  panels.      


The  team  started  with  a  detailed  shading  and  solar  access  analysis  to  guide  siting  and  orientation  of  the  house  as   well  as  vegetation  management  decisions. Through  this  work  the  team  was  able  to  save  some  big  trees  that  it   originally  assumed  would  need  to  be  removed  to  provide  sun. It  also  gained  a  detailed  understanding  of  the   project’s  daylighting  potential  and  solar  access,  which  then  shaped  the  schematic  design  of  the  house.      

The  project’s  focus  on  high  thermal  performance  began  at  the  home’s  foundation,  with  the  structural  engineer  on   board  from  day  one  to  design  thermal  bridge-­‐free  details  throughout. The  foundation  is  built  on  high-­‐density structural  geofoam,  for  an  R-­‐30  foundation  assembly. The  home’s  R-­‐50  wall  includes  a  9.5-­‐inch  Larsen  truss  and   2x6  stud  wall,  both  filled  with  cellulose  insulation  and  meticulously detailed  for  air  and  water  management.  

 A  R-­‐ 100  attic  insulation  system  is  installed  over  a  perfectly  airtight  diaphragm  air  barrier. The  home’s  windows  are  triple-­‐paned  high  performance  Zola  windows,  with  a  U  value  of  just  0.13,  which translates  to  60%  less  heat  loss  than  a  standard  window. Triple-­‐paned  European  solar  tubes  provide  additional  daylighting. A  system  of  sliding  exterior  shades  shield  bottom  floor  windows  from  solar  gain  as  needed.    

The  home  is  ventilated  with  a  90%  efficient  Passive  House-­‐certified  HRV  that  supplies  fresh-­‐air  to  every  bedroom   and  exhausts  air  from  bathrooms  and  laundry  room. Cooling  is  provided  by  a  modest  ducted  minisplit. A  very  low   static  pressure  high  performance  duct  system  distributes  heating  and  cooling  throughout  the  house.        

Domestic  hot  water  is  produced  by  a  high-­‐efficiency  heat  pump  hot  water  heater. To  prevent  wasted  water  at  the  tap,  the  home  employs  an  on-­‐demand hot  water recirculation  system, activated  by  motion  sensors  in  the  bathroom  and  a  push  button  in  the  kitchen.        

To  ensure  successful  installation  of  the  high  performance  details  at  Pumpkin  Ridge  Passive  House,  the  building  was   rigorously  tested  throughout  the  construction  process  by  an  independent  PHIUS+  rater.    Before  the  team  installed   insulation,  for  example,  the  building  shell  was  commissioned  and  tested  with  theatrical  fog  to  ensure  it  was   airtight. Periodic  spot  checks  and  blower  door  fan  tests  helped  measure  and  verify  progress.    

: Sam Hagerman, Hammer & Hand | Portland, OR Architect:  Rick Berry, Scott | Edwards ArchitecturePortland, OR

  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House
  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House
  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House
  • Pumpkin Ridge Passive House

 Click Floorplan(s) to Enlarge View

Products Specified

Alternative Building Systems: HRV, ducted mini-split, geofoam foundation, Prosoco Wetflash system, Agepan DWD, condensing dryer, cellulose insulation, more.
Appliances: Energy efficient throughout, including Bosch condensing dryer.
Building Envelope: Agepan DWD
Caulks and Sealants: Prosoco Wetflash R-Guard system - FastFlash and Joint & Seam
Central Vac:  Yes
Countertops: Chroma manmade stone
Decks: Bison pedestal paver: concrete paver on plastic pedestal
Door/Hardware: Zola high performance exterior doors, WestPac interior doors (solid core flush birch)
Electrical: Circuit-by-circuit energy monitoring by eMonitor.
Exterior Finishes: Cedar with clear cedar coating.  Low VOC acrylic on hardiplank and panel.
Flooring: Pre-finished domestic hardwood.  Concrete in basement.  Marmoleum in entryway.  Tile in master bath.
Furniture: furnished by clients
Garage Doors: Liftmaster, controlled by iPhone.
HVAC/Ducts: Mitsubishi ducted minisplit heat pump with sheet metal ducts.
Insulation: Greenfiber all-borate cellulose isulation.  Big Sky EPS insulation.
Landscaping: Rainwater harvesting. Replanted with hardy natives.
Lighting: LED throughout.

Paints and Stains: Low VOC StaysClear on all clear interior finishes.
Pavers: Concrete.
Plumbing Fixtures: Low-flow fixtures. On-demand hot water recirculation system by TACO.
Renewable Energy System: 10kw of Solarworld PV Panels
Roof: 40-year comp.
Specialty Products: I-joists in vertical application for Larsen Truss system.

Structural: Structural Geofoam .
Ventilation: Zehnder 350 Comfoair HRV, fully ducted.
Water Heating: Airtap heat pump hot water heater.
Waste Management: Low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting.
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Zola high performance windows and patio doors.  Lightway triple pane solar tubes.

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