With a unique line-up of new and remodeled homes, the 12th annual Green Home Tour set for Oct. 5, aims to inspire homeowners and businesses to invest in buildings that increase value while reducing their overall environmental footprint. Presented by Gorge Owned (GO!) and the Energy Trust of Oregon, the self-guided tour features 10 homes in Hood River and Mosier that showcase everything from “tiny home living” and green roofs to deep energy retrofits and renewable energy.
“The tour offers a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to connect with homeowners, designers, do-it-yourselfers and contractors around a range of topics related to sustainable design, building, and living,” said Lindsay Miller, executive director of Gorge Owned.
The Gorge Green Home Tour kicks off on Friday, Oct. 4, with the Gorge Green Home Expo from 5-8 p.m. at Springhouse Cellar Winery in Hood River. The expo features green building products and service providers, along with 5-minute “GO! Talks” (see list below) from local green building innovators.
Participants can meet this year’s Green Home Tour homeowners, enjoy pizza from Solstice Wood Fire Cafe, drink local wine and learn about innovative building practices.
On Oct. 5, the self-guided Gorge Green Home Tour begins at 9 a.m. at the Hood River Waterfront Park and includes stops in Hood River and Mosier. The tour showcases many cutting-edge homes.
The cost of the tour is $10 per person or $25 per carpool of three or more. Cyclists are $5.
Entrance into the Gorge Green Home Expo is included in the ticket price. Otherwise, there is a $5 suggested donation for the expo.
Here are profiles of two of the homes on this year’s tour:
n Belmont House, 1018 Nina Lane in Willow Ponds in Hood River:
Homeowners are Laurie Macdonald and Peter Belmont. It was built by Green Home Construction.
This beautifully crafted, super-insulated 1,360-square-foot custom post-and-beam home features an insulated concrete form wall system that is very unique to the Gorge. Its tight building shell and a 3 kW PV system means that it consumes very little electricity from the grid.
The natural construction materials used to build this home are very apparent, from the post-and-beam timber that was sourced from wind-fallen trees to the walls finished in natural clay. The home also features a green roof — one of the few in the city of Hood River — and drought-resistant landscaping.
n Skakel House, 1550 State St., Mosier
Homeowners are Katie and David Skakel.
This is the first recycled polystyrene house in the Gorge. It includes triple-pane windows, local sustainably grown hand-hewn timbers, bamboo floating floor, pre-owned sinks, tubs, windows, doors, light fixtures and cabinets. There is also a 100-percent recycled-content sauna house and 100-percent recycled shed with factory-reject Pergo exterior sheathing. The house has solar hot water and solar trackers (5.9kw, grid-tied, power purchasing agreement with Pacific Power).
Green Home Expo speakers are:
n Jonathan Lewis (Hire Electric) — “1935’s Rural Electrification Act Revisited: How Rural RE-Electrification turns every customer into a producer”
n Dave Hammond (owner-builder) — “With creativity, you can build a sustainable home for less than $15,000”
n Katy White (Sustain Eco-Interiors) — “Top 5 ways to improve your indoor air quality”
n Marion McNew (Mount Hood Gardens) —“An organic approach to residential landscaping”
n Eric Bell (Energy Trust) — “How does Energy Trust help utility customers save energy and money?”