Hammer and Hand, a high-performance builder with offices in Seattle and Portland, recently announced the production of ultra-efficient custom doors for use with Passive House projects. The doors are designed and built in southeast Portland to the rigorous requirements of Passive House and help project teams avoid a potential economic premium and the carbon emissions associated with importing a similar product across the Atlantic from a European supplier. The company’s first door — shown in video here — was installed at their Karuna House project, which is pursuing PHIUS+ Passive House, Minergie-P-ECO, LEED for Homes Platinum, and net-zero energy designations (which I’ll explore in a subsequent article). More about custom Passive House doors.
This will be the first certified Passive House in the city limits of Salt Lake City (not to take anything away from the Breezeway House located outside the city in Salt Lake County), if certification by PHIUS goes as planned. I visited the home on a nice sunny day a couple weeks ago, but the photos of this beginning photographer didn’t turn out as I’d originally expected.* That said, I hope you can get a feeling for the contemporary design and some of the materials and technology that went into this ultra-efficient home.
The housing market is “starting to gain traction,” according to AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, although people aren’t rushing to add home theaters and the like.
Rather, “home features and products attracting attention are generally focused on energy efficiency or accessibility around the home, as well as wireless systems and low-maintenance, sustainable products,” per Mr. Baker based on findings from the AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey in the second quarter of 2012.
This is an 800-square-foot home in the River Road area in north Eugene. It was designed by Nir Pearlson and built by Six Degrees Construction for owners Rob Handy and Julie Hulme, who were inspired by The Not So Big House and other books by Sarah Susanka, FAIA. It turns out the owners upsized their situation by deconstructing an existing 620-square foot house built several decades ago, according to The Register-Guard.
I’ve seen innovation in the smart LED space from the likes of Google and Insteon, but San Francisco-based LIFX Labs aims to reinvent the light bulb with a new, successfully-funded Kickstarter project called LIFX. The LED bulb is WiFi-enabled, energy-efficient, multi-colored, and controllable from an iPhone or Android. It will be available as Edison-type, bayonet cap, or downlight with everything necessary to work at home or in a business with a pledge from $69 on Kickstarter.
The media relations group for Oak Ridge National Laboratory just released more information about recent field tests by ORNL of a new roof and attic system that keeps homes cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter. The system is explained in the graphic embedded above (click to expand). In addition, I’ve included some graphics below to illustrate more of what the system looks like and how it saves energy.