Passive House in the News
This week there was a rather prominent story about efficient housing. The Willamette Week’s cover story “Futurehous” is all about the Passive House standard. And more specifically about Root Design Build’s passive house that they are building this summer in Hood River. There is a small but somewhat obsessed Passive House community in Portland, Root’s house in Hood river is likely going to be the first completed in the region followed by another five or six in the next couple years with ours potentially being one of them. I plan on writing in the future my thoughts on different green building evaluation systems (Passive House, Living Building, and LEED), how they differ, and how each is both good and flawed. We’re currently evaluating our house for Passive House compliance and trying to source windows that will help us out in meeting the heat loss requirements.
Our Contractor in the News
Once again our contractor’s crepe stand has gotten a little mention in the press, this time in the Oregonian.
Our house is rolling fairly smoothly through the city. We’ve had a few checksheets to deal with so far, the big one being structural. But right now we only have three signatures left for approval
- Structural - we recieved a 12 item checksheet of corrections and clarifications that needed to be taken care of… Most were fairly minor, some were on account of the city’s examiner misreading plans, the one big one was that we needed to beef up our east wall to have it safely stand as a two story unbraced wall. Our engineer has finished up his revisions, and hopefully we can get this back in to the city next week and get signed off.
- Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) - When you have something like and ecoroof on your building, you are required to record an Operations and Maintenance agreement with the county as a new part of your deed. A reasonable requirement, because of course you should be taking care of your ecoroof… But this is required for stormwater management facilities and not for other parts of your building that also require regular care and maintenance. Your walls foundation and plumbing also need to be taken care of, but I guess that is just assumed. Its not something that you would normally have to do for any construction, and not something I mind learning… But I could see it as a little barrier to do-it-yourselfers who want an ecoroof but don’t know how to deal with the city and don’t want to hire someone to handle things for them. So anyways, we need to get that recorded soon.
- Urban Forestry - Our last little item is that we have a gigantic Tulip tree adjacent to our lot, and we’re required to make sure its protected during construction. So in order to have Urban Forestry’s approval, we need to put up a protection fence, roughly 20′ from the tree, which pretty much follows under the edge of the canopy.
If everything goes through fine (structural is the only one I’m concerned about), then we could potentially have permits by the end of next week. After that, everything is lined up to start on the foundation almost immediately once we are able to say “go”.