First Passive House Townhouse

With a strong ecological commitment, Ella and Randy chose PDX Living, LLC to fulfill their dream of building a contemporary urban dwelling with the goal of reaching site net-zero energy use. This goal will be achieved through Passivhaus design to minimize energy use and a photovoltaic system that provides the remainder necessary.

– Specs:

  • 2- unit townhouse project
  • Each unit 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,510 square feet (plus workshop)
  • Site net-zero energy: 4.7 kW photovoltaic system per unit provides 100% of anticipated energy use
  • Designed and built to Passive House standards
  • Heat pump heating/cooling and water heating
  • Rainwater collection with a 1,500 gallon cistern providing irrigation for the fruit and vegetable garden
  • Monitoring of energy use, temperatures, and indoor air quality through a partnership with Portland State University’s Green Building Research Lab
  • – Completed: January  2012
    – Architect: Robert Hawthorne
    – Contractor: PDX Living, LLC



   - 4.7 kW PV system
   - Passive House Performance:
       - Specific heating demand: 3.75 kBTU/(ft^2yr)
       - Airtightness as tested: 0.21 ACH50
       - Total PE Value: 33.1 kBTU/(ft^2yr)