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.