Simple Green Harpoon House in Oregon


Oregonians Matt Kirkpatrick and Katherine Bovee have been working hard this last year on the Harpoon House, a simple efficient home in Portland that's expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification.  The 28-foot tall home has one bedroom, one bathroom, a root cellar, and a roof garden.  Specifically, there's 1152 square feet of living space and a 433 square foot roof garden space. 


Harpoon House has tons of interior daylighting, a toilet-sink self-contained gray water system, heat recovery ventilator, heat pump water heater, pervious hardscaping, low- and no-VOC finishes and paints, and mostly FSC certified wood for siding, flooring, cabinetry, and window frames. 

The house doesn't have a massive garage, large footprint, or countless extra bedrooms.  It was built tightly and efficiently with SIPs and triple pane windows with a U-value of 0.17.  As a result, except for the Cadet wall heater that's not being used, there's been no need for a furnace. 

Kirkpatrick, who designed the house and runs Design for Occupancy, and Bovee say on their website that they "believe in small houses, simplicity, efficiency, and good design," and made sure their home didn't have "a green-washed interior, a checklist of eco-gadgets, [or] an exorbitant budget."  In fact, they explain the entire budget, which was about $193,000. 

[+] Read more about the construction and design of Harpoon House.






Photo credits: Matt Kirkpatrick.

  • mike

    SIPS, triple pane windows, HRV – surely this thing must be close to passivhaus numbers?!? and the bocci outlets? uber sexy…

    it’s a little out of scale with the neighborhood, but it’s great to see a LEED-platinum design that doesn’t look like trash.

  • David Doucette

    i have to say, not crazy about this one. completely out of scale with the neighborhood and that wood siding is going to take a beating with the weather. i feel sorry for the poor guy who’s going to be refinishing that several times a year. kudos for the LEED rating and the homeonwers get an A for effort!

  • Anonymous

    That’s a pretty cool and I mean literally cool, albeit roofless, green house!

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