Oregon Set to Have Largest Passive House Building in N. America

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REACH CDC welcomes Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to celebrate the grand opening of Orchards at Orenco, a new affordable 57-unit development located at the Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Oregon. Orchards at Orenco Phase I is the largest multi-family building built to Passive House energy standards in North America.

REACH Orchards at Orenco

Orchards at Orenco Phase I is the largest multi-family building built to Passive House energy standards in North America.

Congresswoman Bonamici celebrates Grand Opening of new 57 unit building.

REACH is proud to welcome Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to celebrate the grand opening of Orchards at Orenco, a new affordable 57-unit development located at the Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Oregon. Orchards at Orenco Phase I is the largest multi-family building built to Passive House energy standards in North America.

The celebration takes place on Monday, June 29th from 10:30 to 12:00 pm at 6520 NE Cherry Dr., Hillsboro, Oregon. In addition to keynote Bonamici, REACH welcomes State Representative Joe Gallegos, Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey, and Executive Director of Passive House US Katrin Klingenberg.

Over the past 15 years, several thousand market-rate housing units have been developed in and around Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Oregon, a nationally recognized model of New Urbanism. Orenco Station was named the "Best New Burb" of 2006 by Sunset magazine and was listed on CNN Money Magazine's list of “Best Places to Live in 2010” for cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. The growth, however, has focused on market-rate and high end luxury living. None of the new units have been affordable to workers with incomes under approximately $30,000 a year. According to a recent report published by the Urban Institute, Washington County faces the same shortage of affordable housing that every county in the United States confronts. Not a single county in the US can fill one hundred percent of its low-income population’s need for affordable housing.

Orchards is helping to fill this gap in Oregon by offering an affordable, comprehensive model of living, using transit-oriented design, green building technology and keeping energy costs extremely low. Orchards is being offered to residents earning approximately 50% of MFI or approximately $30,000 for a single-person household. Eight of the units are available to those earning 30% of MFI. Rents range from $611-$733/month. As the largest multi-family building built to Passive House energy standards in North America, tenants will receive unprecedented savings on their energy bills, achieving nearly 90% energy reduction for heat usage and 60-70% for overall energy use as compared to a LEED Certified building. Some of the key innovative features include triple-paned windows, a heat recovery system and a super-insulated building envelope. Orchards recently won the Portland Business Journal’s Better Bricks Sustainable Project of the Year award for its commitment to green technology and energy efficiency.

“Stable, quality housing makes a big difference in the lives of low-income residents trying to get ahead,” says Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “REACH has been working for decades to make more affordable housing available in Oregon. The Orchards at Orenco will strengthen the community, reduce our environmental footprint and lower residents’ utility bills.”

The development team included Walsh Construction Co.; Ankrom Moisan Architects (of record); William Wilson Architects (of design); Housing Development Center; Green Hammer, Inc.; Housing Authority of Washington County; and PHIUS (Passive House Institute of the United States). The $14.56 project is financed with funding from Wells Fargo, the Community Housing Fund, Meyer Memorial Trust, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH), Oregon Housing and Community Services, NeighborWorks® America, and the Washington County Office of Community Development.

About REACH CDC
For 33 years, REACH has built innovative and affordable housing for low-income families and individuals in Oregon and Washington. REACH develops and manages affordable housing and provides supportive services to our residents, as well as free home repairs to senior homeowners. Today, REACH’s portfolio includes 2,073 units of single family homes, apartment buildings, and mixed-use developments. REACH has won numerous state and national awards for its creative approach to building healthy communities and its innovative housing projects. More information at http://reachcdc.org.

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Laura Recko
REACH CDC
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