Zero Net Energy Homes at Sage Green


Green One Construction Services just completed phase one in Sage Green, an ultra energy efficient community in Beaverton, Oregon.  The entire project will have a total of 18 homes, and the first five are now on the market with pricing between $257,900 and $259,000.  I guess you can say it's a small price to pay for the desirable, but still rare, benefit of zero net energy living. 

Sage Green homes minimize demand for energy in part through the use of a styrofoam and plywood wall assembly — something Ben Walsh of Green One calls ply-on-foam.  In addition, efficient features include triple-glazed windows, CFL lighting, and high efficiency mechanical systems. 

When combined with on-site solar power, over the course of a year, each home will generate enough energy to power a family of four with a comfortable modern lifestyle.  And an Energy Performance Score of 0 validates the same. 

These homes, designed by Tara Doherty, are built with low- and no-VOC paints, adhesives, and finishes, as well as locally-sourced and recycled content materials.  You can find the community at 4900 SW 149th Avenue in Beaverton, Oregon, 97007. 



[+] Learn more about Sage Green in Beaverton, Oregon.

Rendering credits: Sage Green. 

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  • Anonymous

    Not just some of these will reach zero. Course-of-construction testing demonstrated performance capacities exceeding design, in some cases by as much as 30%. All of these homes will be net-generators under design occupancy. Purchase will generate a $10,500 federal income tax credit for the buyer, for net cost under $250K, fee-simple, fully-equipped. Thanks Preston.

    • Preston

      Thanks for the catch, Ben. I’ve updated that sentence.

  • LenMinNJ

    What’s the square footage on these homes? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Do they have basements? What kind of HVAC systems?

    • Anonymous

      The website’s not great but if you dig through it you’ll find all (or most) of this info.

      Loosely, they’re 1500sf 3bd/3ba, SoG (no basements but the ground floor is all garage/storage (thanks to county DoT)); hvac is heat pump w/ gas back-up and HRV.

  • Craig Sheilds

    Kudos to Preston Koerner for bringing this development to light. This is a bug that needs to be catching – with all the new construction that took place over the last decade, and such a low percentage of it being zero net energy design, I hope this get’s the national media attention it deserves.

    The wise design of these homes shows the excellent benefit of small application PV efficient design and components, and they’re beautiful inside as well. I’m sure we’ll see much more of this in the future.

    However, I’ve seen evidence of significant challenges, both resource-based and process-based, to scaling PV up to satisfy even a majority of national electricity demand on the kind of time scale we really need.

    In my estimation, solar thermal with molten salt for energy storage is the answer to replace the current 2,776 conventional plants across the country (most of which burn coal, natural gas and/or fuel oil). A string of 100 solar thermal/molten salt generation plants across our sunbelt, each 10.5 miles on a side, could supply all the current power demands of the entire nation 24x7x365 via high voltage transmission lines.

    Here’s more on the technology if you’re interested:

    Google just completed work on a prototype mirror technology that could bring the energy cost down to 5 cents per kWh. Here’s a link on that:

    There’s no science-based or resource-based barrier to the massive deployment of this technology, and it can be rapidly scaled up to meet additional demands of an all-electric transportation and shipping grid as well. Many factors are building behind EV’s and I think we’re approaching a sea change in the public mindset on internal combustion similar to what we saw with fur clothing. Here’s a little more on my reasoning:

    In any case, both PV and solar thermal tap the one utterly clean energy source that is completely stable and predictable year round and year on year, and it’ll be plentiful for another five billion years.

    Bravo Jetson Green for a great bit of news, and for opening up a forum for public discourse and information exchange – sites like this are the some of the reasons I still have hope for the future.

    Craig Shields, Editor,

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