Change Comes in All Sizes
Editor’s Note: As part of our effort to support the FSC marketplace, we encourage FSC Certificate Holders to submit newsletter articles for consideration. This month, we feature a story by Stephen Aiguier, a certified passive house consultant and CEO of Green Hammer (SCS-COC-002044).
It was a sunny day in Ashland, OR, and I was being introduced to Allen Satterfield, one of Southern Oregon’s greatest concrete contractors. “Boy, you are a young little guy! I expected an old, hard-nosed guy. You know, this isn’t an everyday project.”
Allen’s right. It’s not an everyday project. Green Hammer’s Ashland house boasts over 5,000 square feet of ultra high-performance living space. When completed, the structure will be the first Forest Stewardship Council Chain-of-Custody (FSC-COC) & LEED Platinum certified Passivhaus building in the region. Perched atop a golden hillside in Ashland, the home’s design exemplifies the precision of modern simplicity with breathtaking views, trim-less detailing, and elaborate artworks designed into the structure and for interior display. More unique, it has a building envelope 17 times tighter than the code equivalent, energy loads of a home 1/8th the size and indoor air quality as fresh as an Ashland breeze. Truly it’s not an everyday project.
I’ve often considered the greenest building to be the smallest; I also believe that every building has the potential to inspire a community. Every building we create is a reflection of values through a series of choices. At any scale these values can shine through. To quote Pink Floyd, “Money... it’s a drag,” but if we use it consciously and keep our focus on the well being of people and planet, the positive effect can be powerful.
In Ashland, this 5,200 square foot house is a proving ground, where deep values to promote prosperity for people and planet are driving the creation of a building to survive generations. We are integrating expertise in construction, thermodynamics, biology, and natural resource management against a backdrop of inspirational creativity.
Can you imagine how readily we can apply the same technology at all scales: a typical home, a library, a community center, or an elementary school? Can you imagine living in a community where everyone has access to comfortable, healthy and inspiring buildings, while reducing our impact on the planet and carbon emissions?
This young little guy can.
Stephen Aiguier is a certified passive house consultant and CEO of Green Hammer, an Integrated Design, Build and Energy firm based in Portland, Oregon that is recognized as one of the premier experts in high-performance building in the United States. Aiguier shares his never-ending passion — with Green Hammer’s multidisciplinary teams, his students at Earth Advantage Institute and members of the community — for creating healthy, durable and inspiring spaces that drastically reduce carbon emissions and live in harmony with our planet’s natural ecosystems.
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