Sun-centered Bend house wins top green construction award (photos)
“This house was chosen as the best of the best because it perfectly fuses building science and artful design…It’s not only super energy efficient, wildfire resilient and durable, but also just stunning to look at. Great siting, nice views. It checks all the boxes.”Matt Power, editor-in-chief of Green Builder Media. “
Designer Jason Offutt of the Shelter Studio in Bend and homeowner Gretchen Rowe, who filled in as the general contractor and interior designer, poured so many environmentally friendly features into the structure that it earned the Home of the Year award from Green Builder Magazine, a publication focused on creative solutions to wasteful construction.
Dramatically slanting metal roofs may catch your attention when you first pass by the Rowe Toogood Residence on the Deschutes River in Bend, but there’s more to this handsome, new Northwest contemporary home than curb – or water – appeal.
–Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
“This house was chosen as the best of the best because it perfectly fuses building science and artful design,” says Matt Power, editor-in-chief of Green Builder Media. “It’s not only super energy efficient, wildfire resilient and durable, but also just stunning to look at. Great siting, nice views. It checks all the boxes.”
We’re talking way beyond LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, but two dozen solar panels, passive cooling and heating, and effective ventilation. Extra insulation and other energy-cutting methods shrink power bills for the house with 2,376 square feet of living space on two levels to under $10 in the summer and under $100 in the winter, says Offutt.
Energy Trust of Oregon has given the home an energy performance score of 8 out of 10.
As Power notes: “Energy efficiency and great design don’t have to sleep in separate bedrooms, the way they did 20 years ago.
You don’t need a compass on this property. You only need to know that the homeowners selected the lot and Offutt positioned the dwelling to take advantage of not only enviable river views to the west but also the sun.
Guests arrive at the home from a street to the east. The master suite on the main level has been located to the north to capture river view, but not get blasted by the sun, says Offutt.
Offutt explains that Bend’s climate and latitude guided his sun-tempered design. He wanted natural light to stream into the structure from early morning through mid-day and also in the late afternoon, but he didn’t want the house to overheat in the summer.
The position of the structure and deft window placement allow for optimal daylighting and passive heating.
Exterior walls have insulating 10-inch thick studs and are clad in low-maintenance James Hardie fiber cement siding. Douglas fir porch covers and other accents have a sealant to preserve the stain and wood from exposure to sun, snow, rain and wind.
The living room’s towering ceiling is planked in rediscovered redwood, which is wood passed over as scrap when the forest was first logged then collected later and sold by companies such as Anthology Wood in Ashland.
The stairs and halls are lit by the sun throughout the day.
The kitchen has appliances that reduce energy use such as a Bosch induction range, hood, dishwasher and four-door refrigerator. No formaldehyde is in the cabinets, shelves or other millwork. Caulks, sealants, paints and stains have no or low volatile organic compounds that can be harmful to people and the environment. Counters are made of solid surface PentalQuartz.
Rowe and Offutt, who is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional and a certified sustainable building advisor and homes professional, selected energy-wise features throughout the modern home.
The Floors are maple, basalt stone or wool carpet made from naturally sourced fabrics and fibers; the walls have more insulation than required by code and are backed up by triple-pane glass and fiberglass doors.
Lighting, a high-efficient tanked water heating and plumbing are designed to reduce energy and water use. Sun shades block the outside light without obscuring the river view.
North of South Landscapes of Bend designed low-xeriscape yards.
First level floor plan.