Central Oregon's First LEED-H Certified Residential Project: Newport District Modern House Project by Abacus GC

Newport_rendering

Have you ever been to Bend, Oregon?  Bend is smack dab in the middle of the state, it’s Central Oregon, and it’s beautiful.  Central Oregon is not to be confused with the rainy, western part of the state.  Bend is in close proximity to some of the best golfing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, and skiing locations in the world, which is why lots of Californians either relocate or have a vacation home in the area.  And real estate isn’t cheap, either (speaking from a Texas frame of mind).  But in Bend, you have an innovative, forward-thinking real estate company, Abacus GC, that has just received the first LEED-H (LEED for Homes) certification in Central Oregon for its Newport District Modern House Project.  It’s also Earth Advantage certified and will save about 54% more in energy consumption than a standard code-built home. 

This project (corner of NW 12th Street + Newport Avenue) includes 5 green, modern, luxurious homes, scheduled for completion in December 2006.  Each lot is 3,000 square feet, and each home is 2,000 square feet (prices starting at roughly $850k).  Here are some of the green features:  cool metal roof that reflects UV radiation and keeps the house cool in the summer; green roof trellises; xeriscaped lawns with drought tolerant and local plants (require less water and maintenance); Sierra Pacific windows made from timber that meets the Sustainable Forestry Initiative requirements; grid-tied solar energy system (2 kilowatt) from photovoltaic panels that run backwards; extensive use of FSC-certified lumber; blown in formaldehyde-free insulation (exterior walls, R-23; attic, R-50!) for energy-efficiency, sound control, and improved indoor air quality; lightweight all-aluminum garage doors that are maintenance free and recyclable; hydronic radiant floor heating systems powered by a 96% energy-efficient boiler; tons of strategically placed windows to optimize natural light and shade; locally harvested Madrone wood for the stairs and kitchen counter tops; Caroma dual-flush toilets that save up to 80% of annual water usage; 80% energy-efficient Ribbon fireplace by Spark Modern Fires (with the enclosure made of Eco-Terr recycled tiles); and Green Seal-certified, zero-VOC YOLO Colorhouse primer and paints.  These are just some of the many green features of the five homes in the Newport District Modern House Project. 

In addition to the green features, these homes are stylish:  top of the line hardware (Kohler, Grohe, Blum, Sub-Zero, etc.), 9-foot ceilings, Category-5 Ethernet cable installed, etc.  We’re are talking about luxury everything, in an extreme, environmentally-friendly orchestration.  The Newport District Modern House Project is everything that Jetson Green espouses:  Modern + Green + Healthy Living.  But specifically, these homes help an owner achieve water and energy independence, which is valuable in a world where energy prices will continue to rise and water will continue to become more scarce.  I really like the trajectory of this company and the projects they have in the pipeline–I’m sure this won’t be the last abacus GC project on Jetson Green. 

Extra Links:
Abacus Take Lead on LEED-H Certification [Press Release]
Earth Advantage Features [pdf]
Abacus GC Builds Modern Dwellings [Cascade Business News - pdf]

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  • http://wordsideas.com/ Harold Olaf Cecil

    Great post! In fast growing areas like Bend, sensible, human-scale development is really the only viable option.

  • http://www.myspace.com/emergingme brian

    I’ve been watching this development for a little while. Still haven’t studied the specs, but I like the way they look! For me, the “luxury” thing is a bit much. I would have preferred they keep it as simple as possible, but that’s just me. Visually, I think this is a good example of accessible “modern” architecture. It is mainstream-ready.

  • richard Hunt

    Please send me information on floor heating
    \

    P.O Box 5
    Bend, OR 97709

    541-382-3503

  • richard Hunt

    Please send me information on floor heating
    \

    P.O Box 5
    Bend, OR 97709

    541-382-3503

  • skippy

    $850,000 dollars for some boxy townhomes? Isn’t that on the steep side?
    I am teaching my teens to build homes.
    skip

  • skippy

    $850,000 dollars for some boxy townhomes? Isn’t that on the steep side?
    I am teaching my teens to build homes.
    skip

  • skippy

    $850,000 dollars for some boxy townhomes? Isn’t that on the steep side?
    I am teaching my teens to build homes.
    skip

  • PopGoesBend

    This project ended up as a massive failure.

    Homes from L to R in picture:

    1. Builder foreclosed. Sold for $314,900 by bank in March 09. Buyer now has it as a vacation rental.

    2. Was set to foreclose, but the VP of Marketing for the mortgage company ended up buying it for $450k in April 08. It is currently available for rent for $1595 and has been empty for months.

    3. Builder foreclosed and bank sold for around $400k in August 08.

    4. Bank holding off foreclosure. Currently lingering on market for $290k with no offers.

    5. Builder foreclosed and sold by bank for $361k in Jan 09.

    This was a prime example of a good idea executed very poorly. They built these as “luxury green”, but the location (one of the busiest streets on that side of town) did not equate to luxury. Green does not have to have a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a $1500 lighting fixture from DWR. Nobody was going to pay that much money to live on that street. The lot sizes were small which is great for density, but the houses were too large for the lots giving almost zero outdoor living space. People with enough money to pay their asking price wanted more space.

    The floorplans are very efficient and nice. Unfortunately they all have the exact same floor plan and, other than the front, have the exact same window placements. You can stand in the kitchen of one of the end homes and see all the way through to the kitchen of the other end home.

    Good idea, poor excution.

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