2017 Green Tour

The 17th Annual Green Tour took place on

Saturday, Sept. 30th, 2017

It’s that time of year again! 

Fall means getting cozy and learning how to make your home even cozier. For the 17th year in a row, innovative homes across our community are opening their doors and welcoming us to come and explore what energy efficiency and conservation means to them.

There’s a whole world of solutions out there. We just have to find and implement them. That is what the Green Tour is all about: helping all of us find new ways to save energy at home.

This year, you will be able to tour homes new and old. No matter where you on your home journey, whether you’re about to design and build a new home or have lived in the same ranch house for the past 30 years, there is something for all of us to learn. You’ll get a chance to talk to all sorts of experts: designers, builders, solar contractors, and home performance contractors and they’ll help you find the energy-savings potential in your very own home.

Get your Green Tour guide

You can view the full Green Tour guide here and get details about the 9 sites below. You will be able to pick up your copy of the guide in The Source from Thurs, 9/21 – Wed, 9/27 and at additional locations in Bend.

Get in the know before you go – Energy Challenge Week

Don’t forget to check out the full week of workshops, classes, and information sessions we have planned during Energy Challenge Week!

2017 Green Tour Map

View in-depth details about each site below.

Tour by Bike

Bike tours led by Bend Bikes will leave The Environmental Center at 12:00 to visit sites 1 – 3, and 3:00 to visit sites 5 & 7. You can see the full schedule and bike map here.

Volunteer on the Green Homes Tour!

Are you interested in volunteering during this amazing event? We need people like you to be present in the green homes during the tour. We would love your help! Please contact Ani for more details: ani@theenergychallenge.org

There’s a lot going happening on Green Tour day! Here’s a breakdown from start to finish. 

Get a sneak peek of the Green Tour sites

Site 1: The Powerhouse on Union Street

A creative path to zero energy for two small homes

 1234 NW Union St, Bend

New Construction + Energy Retrofit

Designer: Allen Design Studio Solar Contractor: E2 Solar
Builder: WH Hull Company Size: 6.4 kW
Home Performance Contractor: Green Savers Modules: 20 Lg NeOn 320 Watt panels
Energy Performance Score: 0 Inverter: SolarEdge
Main home: 504 sq ft, 1 bedroom, 1 bath
ADU: 600 sq ft, 1 bedroom, 1bath

The accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on this property is a powerhouse. Literally. The solar panels on the roof of this small one bed, one bath ADU, produce a “net positive” amount of energy. This means that it at the end of the year, this home nets a positive amount of energy and even nets enough energy to power the main house.

This project is remarkable in that it preserved the original home on the property that was built in 1926, transforming it into a model of energy efficiency in its own right. The owners worked with Green Savers, a local home performance contractor to complete an energy assessment to see where the home was losing energy and created an action plan to make the home as energy efficient as possible. They air sealed the building envelope to get rid of drafts, added insulation to the ceiling and crawl space, blew insulation into the walls, installed an efficient ductless heat pump to heat and cool the home, and upgraded the water heater. Then, they built the new ADU and added solar.

The new ADU was designed to match the style of the original home and is open and bright. Getting to zero energy with the right design is simple: air tight envelope, lots of insulation, and super-efficient appliances. One of the biggest energy-saving features is the Mitsubishi ductless heat pump that heats and cools the home using 50% less energy than a typical electric heating system.

Make sure to ask about: How to design a zero energy home and how to create an energy savings plan for your existing home.

Site #2: Range Apartments

NW modern design in the heart of NWC

3001 NW Clearwater Dr, NW Crossing

New Construction, Commercial

Developer: project^
Designer: Lever Architecture
Builder: Walsh Construction
For rent: 6 floor plans, 630 – 900 sq ft

Good looks. Smart design. Open floor plans. Light-filled spaces. It’s everything a home needs to be. Welcome to the Range Apartments in the heart of Northwest Crossing.

These apartments were designed to offer wide-open living. Each unit has oversized windows and an outdoor deck to naturally daylight the home and let the outside in. A high-efficiency heating and cooling system, paired with programmable thermostats, and a high-efficiency water heater, allow residents to take control of their utility costs and keep their cost of living much lower. Each unit’s electricity consumption is individually metered which encourages and rewards energy conservation.

The spacious clubhouse, open to all residents, is great for community functions and events. Residents are invited to gather here and use the community firepit, grill, and hot tub. By centralizing these resources, residents can comfortably live in a smaller footprint while still having all the amenities of a much larger home.

You would never know that this site, soon to be home to 132 units, was once a pumice mine. Just blocks from the central hub of Northwest Crossing, these apartments have restaurants, shops, and services within walking or biking distance. With Discovery Park just across the street and complete sidewalks and bike paths to connect to trails, new adventures await at each unit’s doorstep.

Make sure to ask about: The estimated utility bills for these apartments and the amenities outside of the apartment.

Site 3: Dream Home Building & Design Showcase

Elegant, modern home intentionally designed and built for comfort and health

19460 Randall Ct, Tetherow

New Construction

Designer: Mount Bachelor Design Studio
Builder: Dream Home Building and Design
For sale: 4 bedrooms, 3 bath, 3,053 sq ft,
Energy Performance Score (EPS): 68

This contemporary, high-performance home reflects modern styling with clean lines and shed roofs. An unobstructed southern access is optimized for daylighting and passive solar heating benefits. The roof was also designed to be solar ready. This means that it is positioned for optimum efficiency for solar electric panels when they are added at a later date.

The home envelope incorporates the best practices in building science with additional insulation, a complete thermal break, and fully vented rainscreen. Since the envelope of this home is so tight, (this is what you want – no heated or cooled air being lost!) fresh air needs to be brought into the home through mechanical ventilation.

A Lifebreath energy recovery ventilator offers mechanical ventilation and brings in fresh outside air and exchanges the energy from the heated or cooled air that is leaving the home. This gives the home superior and controlled indoor air quality, without compromising the efficiency of the HVAC system. The home is heated and cooled with an efficient Mitsubishi ducted mini split system, providing year-round comfort and multi-zone control.

The home design also carefully incorporates the ability to age in place with the master suite and all primary functions on the main level. A private second suite on the main level allows for a home office, guest room, or live-in care. An oversize garage supplies lots of storage space outside of the conditioned space of the home.

Make sure to ask about: The ducted mini split system, Dream Home’s unique wall systems, and how to design a home to be solar ready.

Site 4: Worden Residence 

Efficient, contemporary, comfortable forest living

54830 Wolf Street, Sunriver, OR

New Construction 

Designer: Owner & Garland Engineering
Builder/Contractor: Owner
2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2,362 sq ft

When designing this home, the owners had a clear set of priorities. The home must be affordable, then efficient, sustainable, and architecturally pleasing.

This home has 5-inch slab on grade with an insulated foundation which prevents heat loss from the edges of the slab. This slab also serves as a heat sink during colder months. When the sun gets lower in the sky (and the temperatures drop), the sun strategically starts to creep through the windows, heating up the concrete slab. Even with concrete floors, the owners say that bare feet are comfortable through the winter.

3.5-foot eaves ensure the sun does not hit the southern wall of the house between June and September, which helps to keep the home cool. The dual-zoned ductless heat pump rarely gets used– for heating or cooling. This home uses 7,552 kWh per year and they are expecting to spend $42/month (or $500/ year) for all of their utilities combined.

On the west and north sides of the house, quadruple paned windows compliment the advanced framing and high levels of insulation, completing a well designed and super efficient building envelope. The windows on the south side of the house have a higher SHGC value to allow sunlight to heat up the home in the winter months. In the evening, shades are lowered to increase the insulative value.

The appliances in this home are also super-efficient. The Haiku ceiling fans are 12 times more efficient than Energy Star standards. A heat pump dryer cuts the amount energy needed for a typical electric dryer in half. In the kitchen, a convection cooktop saves energy by delivering shorter cook times and precise cooking temperatures so no heat is lost to the surrounding environment.

Make sure to ask about: How the homeowners did their own passive solar analysis, how they preheat their water with a tempering tank, and their creative use of upcycled materials (check out the dining room table!).

How to get there: 

South on 97 to Vandervert.
Take Vandervert to the intersection of South Century.
Left on South Century to first right, past Fire Station. (Still south Century.)
Continue on South Century across bridge, to first left on Lazy River.
Lazy river about 2 miles to tee at Shawnee Circle. Left on Shawnee Circle to Wolf.
Left on Wolf, to first driveway on Wolf.

Site 5: Earth Advantage Remodel

A ranch home’s tune-up for efficiency and health

107 SE Cessna Rd, Bend

Energy Retrofit & Remodel

Owner: Louise Palmer
Main home: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1404 sq ft
Studio: 1 bedroom, 1 bath

This home is a community demonstration project to showcase healthy homes and will be the first Earth Advantage certified Remodeled home in Central Oregon. The home has been retrofitted from 1971 code to 2020 standards which are much more stringent than our current building codes.

When retrofitting this home, the owner’s motto was “Build Tight, Ventilate Right.” This means that she made sure the shell of the house had as few leaks as possible and then calculated ventilation based on how much fresh air flow was needed. The air leakage was decreased from 17 air changes per hour (ACH) to 6 which makes for a much less drafty house!

Now that the house was tight she needed to ventilate right! It has a heat recovery ventilator which efficiently supplies fresh air that is preheated from heat harvested from the exhaust air. Indoor air quality is also improved by the use of non-VOC paints and low VOC stains and sealants. The new flooring in the home is formaldehyde-free.

In an effort to make this home as energy efficient as possible, electric baseboard heat was replaced by a ductless heat pump which will reduce heating costs by as much as 50%. The walls and floor were brought up to R 22 and 31.5, respectively. The garage was also converted to a studio and the walls were increased from a 4-inch cavity to 6 inches in order to allow for more insulation.

In order to address drainage problems around the foundation and walkway, the cement walkway removed and will be replaced with gravel. The cement from the walkway was used as pavers to build the patio. Throughout the remodel process all usable materials were salvaged.

Make sure to ask about: The newly planted native plant landscape and butterfly garden and the wiring and plumbing hurdles Louise overcame to get this project started.

Site 6: Neff Rd Solar Farm

Locally generated renewable energy

21836 Neff Rd, Bend

10 MW Solar Farm

Homegrown renewable energy is expanding in Central Oregon and rightfully so. We have some of the best solar potential in the US. This is an opportunity to visit one of these sites and get behind the scenes. Local Cypress Creek Renewables staff will be there to discuss the development process, the energy generation, give you a tour, and answer any questions you may have about utility-scale solar projects.

This 10 MW solar project covers 62 acres on Neff Road and just east of Big Sky Park. It produces enough energy to power 3,000homes. The power that is generated is sold to Pacific Power. With 67% of Pacific Power’s current energy mix coming from coal, this is a really big and important step in the direction to creating a clean energy future here in Central Oregon.

Cypress Creek Renewables has been working on this project for 3 years and developed it from the ground up. During construction, about 200 local Oregonians worked on the projects as electricians and civil contractors.

The project incorporates native landscaping and revegetation around the exterior and interior fence lines. Local plant specialists conducted a site analysis to determine the appropriate native seed mixture and planting techniques for the project. Wax current and Sagebrush, grown by a commercial grower in Redmond, was planted.

Since this site is large, tours will leave at the top of the hour and will take 30 – 45 minutes. Space on each tour is limited so RSVP to reserve your space. There will be 6 spots on each tour.

RSVP for a tour

Site 7: Jones Farm

Midtown convenience meets affordable efficiency

1307 NE Hoover Lp, Bend, OR

New Construction

Designer: Stone Bridge Homes NW
Builder: Stone Bridge Homes NW
For sale: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,888 sq ft
Energy Performance Score (EPS): 68

The Jones Farm community, located just off of NE Jones Rd, offers walkability, convenience, and nearby access to Hollinshead Park. All schools, elementary through high school are less than 1.5 miles away.

There is a lot more to this contemporary farmhouse than just curb appeal. With a price point similar to many homes on the east side, this home offers efficiency features that will help its occupants save on monthly utility costs for decades to come – showing that the average home buyer doesn’t have to sacrifice other features for efficiency. This home uses 44% less energy than a similar sized home in Oregon with estimated utility bills for the entire year coming in around $1,000.

Energy efficiency features include above code insulation, air sealing, high performance windows, ENERGY STAR appliances, an efficient gas furnace, and 88% LED lighting. A tankless water heater, sometimes called on-demand water heaters, produces hot water only when it is needed which prevents energy loss associated with storing hot water in a standing tank. All this helps the home gain an Energy Performance Score from Energy Trust of Oregon and an Earth Advantage Gold certification. Both of these programs ensure that the home is built above and beyond code.

Make sure to ask about: How to easily charge your electric car in the garage and how easy it is to get to the closest brewery (it’s a closer bike ride than you might think!).

Site 8: Cottages at ClearPine

An innovative cottage development

1098 N. Wildflower Lane, Sisters

New Construction

Developer: Peter Hall, 3 Sisters Partners LLC
Designer: Katherine Austin
Builder: Simplicity Homes
For Sale: 4 floor plans, 1004 to 1162 sq ft, 9 total cottages
Energy Performance Score (EPS): 69

60 years ago, the doors were shuttered on a 50-year old lumber mill on this site. After a fire, brownfield site designation, a long abandonment, and eventual remediation, it is now home to the ClearPine community. Nestled in this community is a cluster of 9 simple farmhouse style cottages built around a common area and community garden. They are within easy walking distance to all necessary services in downtown Sisters and will soon be home to a 1 acre community park.

The small cottages, ranging in size from 1004 sq. ft. to 1214 sq. ft, were a conscious decision to create right-sized homes to meet a need for greater affordability and use less land and building materials. All homes have a master downstairs to address the needs of those looking to age in place. The two-story homes have 2 masters allowing for flexibility and potential for multiple generations to live together. Small spaces are as flexible as possible for multiple uses.

Each home will be Earth Advantage certified which means that they will be 20% more efficient than code. Energy Star appliances are used and heat pumps provide efficient heating and cooling. Since hot water can account for up to 20% of a home’s energy use, water runs are central and short, decreasing hot water waste. Water Sense faucets and toilets are used, furthering decreasing energy and water demands. Low VOC interior paints and sealants and hard surfaced floors in high-trafficked areas help to improve the indoor air quality of the home and a heat recovery ventilator provides fresh air.

Make sure to ask about: Their tree preservation plan and habitat restoration partnership with Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and how the development team worked with City of Sisters to re-write their cottage code.

Site 9: Ormond Residence

A modern straw bale home

3000 NE Wilcox Ave, Terrebonne

New Construction

Designer: Schechter Architect, LLC Solar Contractor: E2 Solar
Builder: WH Hull Company Size: 4.2 kW
Modules: 14 SolarWorld 300 Watt panels
Inverter: KACO blueplanet

Despite being made out of straw, if you huff and you puff, you won’t be able to blow this house down. This home has an extremely durable straw bale exterior. That means that thick straw bales provide the wall insulation for this home.

Why straw bales? They offer high insulation and are often readily available as an agricultural waste product. They are an all-natural building material that has a low embodied energy and are rapidly renewable.

Lime plaster, made with local sand coats the entire house so there is no painting required which is great for indoor air quality and allows air to pass through it. The homeowners were very hands-on with this project and participated in the straw bale construction and stucco finishing.

The house layout is classic passive solar—primary daytime activity spaces are located on the south and east to provide optimum passive solar heating and daylighting from the sun during the day. A 24” roof overhang ensures optimum summer shading. When the sun is low in the sky in the winter, direct sunlight shines through the windows, passively heating the home with heat from the sun. Thick Mexican clay floor tiles serve as a thermal mass in the Great Room help to soak up heat in the winter. A small backup pellet stove will provide backup heat on overcast days.

Solar electric panels are located directly above the main portion of the house on the unshaded south facing roof, with space for future array expansion. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) maintains fresh indoor air quality. An HRV transfers heat from heat from the air leaving and entering the house to pre-heat incoming outside air in the winter and pre-cool air in the summer which helps to save a lot of energy.

Make sure to ask about: How the orientation of this homes helps it save energy and what the Ormond’s favorite things are about living in a straw bale home.

Energy Challenge Week and the 17th Annual Green Tour were made possible by the following sponsors