In Portland two brothers, Dustin and Garrett Moon, have been getting some serious attention for their project, The Commons — it could just be the first residence in the nation to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge. The Living Building Challenge is about getting to something that’s truly sustainable, which is what I think the Moons are going after here. If you look at their plans, The Commons will use green tech that you might not see in other so-called green homes.
For instance, the home will have a green roof, composting toilet, earthenware floors, an indoor greenhouse for home-grown foods, two successive doors in the entry to act as an airlock, fly ash concrete walls made of ICFs, a rainwater catchment system with a storage cistern, design based loosely on the Passive House standard, a heat recovery ventilator, and photovoltaics and solar hot water tubes.
Also, the Moons want to recycle greywater, too, but from my communications with Dustin, Oregon / Portland doesn’t allow that yet.
The old, inefficient property is being deconstructed, and the Moons plan to use salvageable materials in the new home. With reused materials and some sweat equity, The Commons should cost about $200k to construct. So, by my BOE calculation, with their basis in the original property being about $195k (purchased direct on Craigslist), that pegs the total price from start to finish at about $395k. Not too shabby, I say. This is going to be a fun project to follow.