New Accessory Dwelling Unit in Portland

The City of Portland’s Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair (BIG!) turns eleven this year. BIG! is a self-guided tour of 16 green remodels and new homes around Portland. The Home Preview web page is a great place to begin planning your tour day, as it’s easy to start and stop where you choose. With so many homes to see, tour-goers usually check out the free Info Fair at Green Depot first, then prioritize the homes based on their features.

As they move through their route, tour-goers can chat with homeowners, designers, do-it-yourselfers and contractors about space-efficient dwellings, solar panels, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, natural landscaping, affordable housing, water and energy conservation, natural building materials and alternative construction techniques.

Tour date: Saturday, September 22, 2012, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m

Eight accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will open their doors on tour day. All of these “backyard cottages” are new construction projects, with the exception of a converted garage.

For the Master-Draper ADU, an existing garage was converted into an energy-efficient art studio and compact dwelling, maintaining the existing footprint. An open outdoor room with sliding doors extends living space to the pocket garden. In 480 sq. ft. of living space, features include a salvaged farm sink, wine barrel stave railings, day lit loft and a mosaic bathroom designed and tiled by the owner.

Walt Quade’s home, 80 sq. ft. pre-fab studio, teardrop trailer and 325 sq. ft. ADU for his sister-in-law is also featured on the tour.

Among other homes you’ll visit are an eclectic accessible remodel featuring Universal Design elements; Planet Repair Institute featuring shared community, natural building techniques and permaculture; the Whitridge Full Plane House expressing the homeowner’s deeply held values of a low-impact home suitable for raising children; and Cully Grove, a new pocket neighborhood of 16 dwellings, common gardens and guest house.

New this year are drop-in workshops at several homes included with the ticket price. Topics included are small home communities, rainwater harvesting, Living Building Challenge, Energy Performance Score, permaculture and more.

The Wicky Pickers

The Info Fair at Green Depot Portland is a prelude to the Tour with green exhibitors, demonstrations, food, drink and live music by the Wicky Pickers! The fun begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Come get your tickets, enjoy coffee from Da Pressed Coffee and join the fun before heading on the tour! Green Depot is located at 819 SE Taylor, Portland. The Info Fair is FREE and open to all. Enter to win a dual flush toilet and other prizes! Here is a list of the nearly 40 exhibitors already signed up:
City of Portland: Your Sustainable City, Bureau of Environmental Services, ReDirect Guide, The Green Living Journal, Oregon Home Magazine, Energy Trust of Oregon, NW EcoBuilding Guild, Mobius Home, Rebuilding Center, Arciform, Modern Mud, Yolo Paint, Portland Metro Restores/Habitat, The Heat Pump Store, Shelterworks, Kitchen Compost Caddy, Sustainable Northwest Woods, Car 2 Go, Structures NW, Birdseye Hardwood, Decoupage Floors, Marmoleum, EcoCrush, Sunlight Solar, Modspdx, GreenHammer, Indow Window, Jacobs Heating and Cooling, Buckman Neighborhood Architectural Heritage Center, GreenSaversUSA, The Golden Rule, Galaxy, and JRA.

Tickets are required for the tour homes. These are available online or in person at Green Depot.

- $15 general admission
- $10 honored citizens/students/alternative transportation.
- Children 13 years-old and under are FREE.

Want a free Tour ticket? Volunteer for the Tour or Info Fair!

Want more info or have a project you’d like to be considered for 2013? Send an e-mail to Valerie Garrett, tour coordinator, greenhotline[at]portlandoregon.gov.

BIG! is sponsored by Metro, Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon Home, Solar Oregon, Green Depot, KINK-FM, City of Portland Bureaus of Development Services, Environmental Services, and Water.

This post was authored by Valerie Garrett.

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The LifeEdited Apartment transforms to allow for all aspects of home life in just 420 sf

Graham Hill’s LifeEdited apartment is finally complete and, in a recent article, the New York Times is calling it the apartment of the future!

Launched in 2010, the project began as an international competition. Graham Hill (the founder of Treehugger) challenged designers around the world to come up with a design that would allow for a large sit-down dinner party, comfortable lounging for 8, space for overnight guests (with privacy), a home office, a hideable kitchen and more! The winning design was submitted by Romanian architecture students Catalin Sandu and Adrian Iancu and construction began!

The build out of the apartment included many green features from the drywall and the insulation to FSC flooring and 0-VOC paints!

Graham Hill’s project is a thought provoking and inspiring demonstration of just how little space, and how little stuff, it actually takes to live a 21st century American lifestyle. Transforming apartments, along with transforming furniture and compact appliances, are becoming more and more popular and that means that soon, more and more of us may have the opportunity to live large by living small – just like Graham Hill.  Visit the LifeEdited website for more inspiring examples of compact living spaces and innovative, space-saving products.

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Green Depot NYC - Certified LEED Platinum

As the leading retailer of green building products in the nation, Green Depot has long been at the forefront of supplying materials for certified green projects. The product experts at each of our locations have assisted with countless certifications – residential and commercial. So, we were pleased to get to apply our knowledge to our own flagship store in New York City. When we were done with our renovations in 2010, our Bowery store became the first to achieve a LEED Platinum Certified Retail Space in all of New York State .

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation is an “internationally recognized green building certification system,” organized and developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  All buildings which apply for LEED certification are judged on a set of prerequisites and credits – prerequisites being mandatory for all projects, and credits accumulating to raise a building’s certification from Certified, up through Silver, Gold, and Platinum.  Credits are judged on criteria as diverse as the siting of the building, water efficiency, energy consumption, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Our New York City store, located at 222 Bowery is a beautiful, unique space and carries nearly all of our green building supplies and green lifestyle products.  We’re located in the building that once held NYC’s first YMCA and was home to a string of artists and musicians – including Mark Rothko – so we worked closely with the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission to preserve some of the original structural elements like tiling from the YMCA pool.

We gained LEED credits through our renovation projects: improved indoor air quality, low-VOC finishes, high-efficiency energy handler, LED light fixtures, and reused and recycled construction materials, among other criteria.

If you are in NYC, stop in and take a look at our Bowery store!  If you are working on a green building, we  have people knowledgeable in LEED Certification at all of our locations nationwide and we can assist you in reaching your LEED goals with Green Depot products. Most of our building products count toward LEED points in at least one category, so be sure to ask when you’re getting started on your project!

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

 (Originally posted on April 31, 2011 with the title “Proud to be Green!”)

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Install Tyroc over new or seasoned concrete

Tyroc panels are just 1/2 inch thick

Let’s face it, choosing flooring for basements can be tricky! Concrete slabs, moisture issues, low ceilings, and un-even surfaces frequently combine to limit your floor covering options to carpet and well, carpet. Many people are happy with their carpeted basements, but if you’ve been longing to install a wood floor downstairs, Green Depot has the answer!

The key to this liberating development is Tyroc Underlayment. Tyroc is an engineered dual-layered subflooring system. The bottom layer is a waterproof, diamond-pattern, moisture-blocking membrane made of recycled rubber and plastic. This moisture barrier works better than a simple layer of plastic sheeting because it makes space between the cement and the flooring surface that allows water vapor to escape. The top surface of each panel is made of non-toxic Magnesium Oxide, a material that is exceptionally well suited for basements because it will not propagate mold or mildew and is fire, water and pest resistant. These panels are superior to a simple wood underlayment because they won’t swell or delaminate and they’ll remain stable as moisture and temperature levels fluctuate.

Installing the ½ inch thick Tyroc panels over your basement floor will help to level the surface of your floor, without costing you headroom. Once it’s down, you can choose linoleum, hardwood, cork, ceramic tile – and yes, even carpet if you like! Whatever flooring you choose, this underlayment will ensure that your floor surface is dry, warm, and quiet.

Serafina Flooring - Engineered for Stability

For added stability in a basement where hardwood flooring is desired, we recommend choosing an engineered floor like our Serafina flooring line. Engineered floors feature a multi-layered cross-grain construction that cuts down on the expansion and contraction of boards. To protect your indoor-air-quality, be sure to choose a product that is made with no added urea-formaldehyde!

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Green Building Trends in 2012

December 27th, 2011 | Posted by sschultz in Green Building - (0 Comments)

Predictions for green building trends in the coming year are optimistic, inspiring, and point to a period  of growth and innovation ahead.

Green Building Services, a consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon, put out their predictions for the Top 10 Green Building Trends of 2012 – and they are very promising! From design firms building in efficiencies so that they meet future standards (rather than just keeping pace with current ones,) to increased transparency around product ingredients, to the adoption of LEED practices internationally – their list is jam-packed with reasons to feel optimistic about 2012. According to GBS, sustainable practices in general will continue to be increasingly incorporated into the mainstream – a perfect example of this being efforts by our nation’s sports teams to green their venues and events.

Building-Products.com, an online resource for the building industry, predicts that 2012 will be a year of innovation for green building products  despite today’s slow economy. In a recent article titled A Green 2012: Innovation in Interesting Times they describe a building of momentum in the development of increasingly sustainable and efficient products. Because “innovation breeds innovation” they say that we should expect to see very radical ideas presented in the coming year.

There are other promising signs for 2012 as well! One such is that support continues to grow for  The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 – proposing an increase in regulation for the use of chemicals in consumer products. Another promising sign is that light bulb manufacturers have announced their intention to  move forward with the phase out of 100 watt incandescent bulbs – despite the last minute move by congress to save the bulbs from extinction.

If the above trends do, in fact, pick up steam in 2012 it will be a very energizing year indeed. We at Green Depot are looking forward to it with great anticipation – and we wish you a very Happy New Year!!

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Cellulose Insulation filling the space between the apartment's floor joists. Great for sound insulation.

Cellulose Insulation filling the space between the apartment's floor joists. Great for sound insulation.

Graham Hill’s “LifeEdited” apartment is not only going to be very space-efficient – it will be very energy efficient as well! This past week, construction got started as they put down the essential basic subfloor, and under that, insulation!

First, they removed the existing floor. Then, using Cel-Pak Cellulose Insulation supplied by Green Depot, they filled in all the air space between the joists in the floor. The picture to the right shows how they blew it in right to the top of the boards and then leveled it off before installing the plywood subfloor.

A great choice for the quality of a home’s air, cellulose insulation is made from 100% recycled newspaper. After the newspapers get shredded down, they get coated with borate (a naturally occurring salt) which is an effective pest and fire retardant. This product is free of fiberglass and PVC – two materials which can hurt the indoor air quality of a home. Many people don’t realize that insulation can affect the quality of a home’s air even from behind the drywall – but as air circulates through the space it also passes through walls and crawl spaces. This increases as a home (or in this case, an apartment) settles, and small openings happen between floors and walls (usually behind the baseboards.)

Plywood Subfloor installation complete over insulated floor.

Plywood Subfloor installation complete over insulated floor.

Here’s a quick list of the benefits of cellulose insulation:

Energy Saving
Cellulose insulation is applicable in a wide range of settings, whatever the desired R-value. Cellulose fills gaps around pipes, wires and outlets blocking those hard to insulate areas where drafts can occur.  It even blocks heat transfer at freezing temperatures.

Sound Insulating
The density of cellulose makes it an excellent sound barrier – far surpassing the sound insulating qualities of fiberglass. Putting it between apartments this way will sustantially decrease the sound-transfer both directions! (STC rating of 45 in a 2×4 wall)

Fire Retardant
Cel-pak is impregnated with borates which makes it very fire resistant. Burn tests have shown it resist fire far longer than other types of insulation. Because the insulation contains so few chemicals, if it does succomb to flame,  the smoke it generates doesn’t generally emit the same kinds of toxins that other insulations can as they burn.

Pest Resistant
The same borates used to add flame resistance also inhibit mold and mildew and repel insects and vermin.

Click here to visit our Cel-Pak page.
We carry a variety of other insulation products as well. Click here to see our full offering.



Click here for an introduction to this exciting project!

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