Update: 8/7/08 – check out Seed’s blog documenting the project at www.sipshousepdx.com.
Yesterday Seed Architecture Studio and Kaya General Contractors announced plans to build the first house in Portland using structural insulated panels ("SIP"). This sustainable home design is targeted to save 70% on bills (compared to a home built to current energy code) utilizing tech such as LED and fluorescent lighting, efficient appliances, passive cooling, and the ultra efficient SIPs. Speaking of the home, Seed Architecture Studio owner Darin Dougherty said:
We’ve positioned the project as an exercise equally rooted in design, efficiency, and resource use. The goal of the project is to illustrate that all three of these variables are attainable to everyone. We’re also introducing a hybrid form of pre-fabrication. Because the entire house is produced in a factory and documented using shop drawings, all other components, such as windows and cabinetry can be produced using the shop drawings. We’re expecting this to drastically reduce construction time.
Darin and Seed expect the house to be a model for future sustainable building methods.
The SIPs will be made with two layers of oriented strand board ("OSB") sandwiched by a layer of rigid foam. The 8′ wide by 24′ long panels are completely factory made, and when applied, provide an even layer of insulation. This allows for greater envelope control and home efficiency.
The Seed SIPs House is unique in that the Portland structural code doesn’t allow for construction with SIPs. Nevertheless, Portland’s Office of Sustainability provided a Green Investment Fund grant to demonstrate the energy and material savings of SIP technology, and after several discussions / negotiations with Portland’s Building Development Services, an agreement was reached to build the house with SIPs.
The groundbreaking is planned for April, and when complete, this fantastically modern home will be placed on the market for sale. With the green design and 70% savings in energy costs, I suspect it’s going to get snatched up quickly.