TrekHaus is a net-zero energy passive house duplex project in the Sunnyside neighborhood of SE Portland.

Recent Posts

  • The House That Could Save the World Check out this article by Sara Solovitch in Politico- The House That Could Save the World:  the next generation of ultra-efficient houses will redefine how we fight climate change- and how we live.  Several Portland Passive House projects are featured.
    Posted Sep 21, 2015, 3:50 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West donates 1921 kWh for 2014/2015 PGE's net metering annual billing cycle just closed for 2014/2015.  TrekHaus West donated excess credit of 1921 kWh to PGE's low income assistance program for 2014/2015.  This is more than the 1520 kWh donated for 2012/2013 and 1582 kWh donated for 2013/2014.  Net positive for over 3 years now!
    Posted Mar 24, 2015, 5:03 PM by Ella Wong
  • Net-positive by more than 50% margin TrekHaus West's 4.70 kW PV system has been up and running for over 2 years now.Here's a look at the numbers..AVERAGE SOLAR ENERGY GENERATION:  14 kWh/day (May 8, 2012 to May 8, 2014)Year 1:  annual average of 13.7 kWh/dayYear 2:  annual average of 14.1 kWh/day (Note:  Our 4.70 kW system was expected to generate average of 12.5 kWh/day)AVERAGE ENERGY CONSUMPTION: 9 kW/day (May 8, 2012 to May 8, 2014)     Year 1:  annual average of 8.8 kWh/dayYear 2:  annual average of 9.5 kWh/day (colder winter)Overall, NET POSITIVE by average of 5 kWh/day.  This is enough electricity to ...
    Posted May 30, 2014, 8:25 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West donates excess energy generation credit of 1582 kWh PGE's net metering annual billing cycle just closed for 2013/2014.  TrekHaus West donated excess credit of 1582 kWh to PGE's low income assistance program for 2013/2014.  This is a little more than the 1520 kWh donated for 2012/2013.
    Posted Mar 22, 2014, 3:21 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West: Still Net Postive After Year 2 Just celebrated Christmas and our 2nd year anniversary living in TrekHaus West!  It's not a fluke.  We are still net positive after 2 years.  Here's our 2013 energy checkup...TrekHaus West Year 2 (12/26/2012 to 12/26/2013)Total Energy Use 2nd Year:  3361 kWhAverage Energy Use Per Day:  9.2 kWh/dayTotal Energy Generation 2nd Year:  4960 kWh Average Energy Generation Per Day:  13.6 kWh/day2013 Excess Generation: 1599 kWhOur average daily household energy use has been quite consistent over 2 years, averaging about 9 kWh/day both in 2012 and 2013.Happy 2014 everyone!
    Posted Dec 27, 2013, 10:02 AM by Ella Wong
  • Introducing CH2, the next generation spec net-zero Passivhaus by PDX Living Look out for CH2 in 2014!  CH2, is PDX Living's next generation spec net-zero Passivhaus project in Portland...just introduced at welcome event for Dr. Wolfgang Feist's visit this week in Portland (  For a snapshot of CH2, check out the poster presentation given by PDX Living... 
    Posted Sep 25, 2013, 7:27 PM by Ella Wong
  • PSU's Green Building Research Lab presents poster at Oregon BEST FEST PSU graduate student Santiago Rodriguez presents poster on Evaluating Technologies for High Performance Residential Buildings at Oregon BEST FEST, September 11 & 12, 2013.  Get a glimpse of the poster here...
    Posted Sep 14, 2013, 3:38 PM by Ella Wong
  • Indow Window inserts surpass expectations according to PSU study For those of you living in homes with single pane windows, Indow Interior Storm Window inserts can really make a difference.  Improves thermal performance and comfort.  Reduces outdoor noise penetration.  Average energy savings of 19% in pilot study conducted on four homes exceeds computer model which predicted 10% savings.  Read about the PSU study in this article- Indow Interior Storm Windows Tested by Portland State.  Details of final PSU report here.
    Posted Jul 12, 2013, 10:13 AM by Ella Wong
  • Read about O2Haus in Green Building Advisor O2Haus, Portland's 1st speculative net-zero energy passive house project, is featured in Green Building Advisor news article- A Net-Zero Passivhas Duplex in PortlandKudos to Rob Hawthorne and Bart Bergquist of PDX Living for designing and building this great project!
    Posted Jul 8, 2013, 10:37 PM by Ella Wong
  • 10x10x10 Green Building Design Showcase on May 29 Learn about 10 green building projects that "push the envelope in our built environment".  The Portland (West Columbia) Chapter of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is hosting a 10x10x10 Green Building Slam Design Showcase on Wednesday May 29, 2013.  Details at  Should be a great event!Here's a peek at the TrekHaus presentation...
    Posted May 22, 2013, 7:32 PM by Ella Wong
  • Read about energy-smart 2nd story balconies in Fine Homebuilding To learn about "energy-smart" 2nd story balconies, read Martin Holladay's article Second-Story Balconies in Fine Homebuilding (May 16, 2013).  The thermally decoupled TrekHaus balcony is shown as an example.
    Posted May 20, 2013, 8:47 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West solar panels exceed 1st year expections West unit solar panels have been up and running for 1 full year today May 8, 2013!May 2012 to May 2013 energy generation and use numbers:Total energy generation:  5012 kWh (exceeded expectations by more than 400 kWh)Total energy used:  3223 kWh  (average 8.8 kWh/day)Annual excess generation:  1789 kWh (enough electricity to power a Nissan Leaf more than 6100 miles).  This is 56% more electricity than we needed to achieve net zero.Ella and Randy are pleased with the net positive results!Photo taken by neighbor Mike Molinaro (Mission Furniture Unplugged)
    Posted Jul 12, 2013, 11:12 AM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West donates 1520 kWh excess energy generation credit PGE's net metering annual billing cycle just closed.  TrekHaus West donated excess credit of 1520 kWh to PGE's low income assistance program.  1520 kWh is enough electricity to power a Nissan Leaf about 4500 miles!Photo credit:  Kevin Jahangiri from SolarCity
    Posted Mar 23, 2013, 5:13 PM by Ella Wong
  • Sustainable Business Oregon visits TrekHaus This week, Lee van der Voo stopped by TrekHaus for a visit.  Check out her article, TrekHaus passive home provides a living lab and photo gallery.
    Posted Feb 14, 2013, 8:48 PM by Ella Wong
  • Students pitch TrekHaus & wind turbines at 2013 International Capstone Design Contest on Renewable Energy Technology Last month, graduate students from Portland State University’s Green Building Research Lab participated in the 2013 International Capstone Design Contest On Renewable Energy Technology (CORE 2013) in Mokpo, South Korea.  Two of the PSU presentations raised considerable interest in the design of high performance Passive Homes.  Jeff Lauck’s presentation on phase change material (PCM) being studied at TrekHaus won a gold award.  Santiago Rodriguez’s presentation looked into energy performance characteristics of cutting-edge technologies being used at TrekHaus.  Nicholas Hamilton earned silver for his work on wind turbine simulations.  Get the full scoop in Portland State Vanguard article, Students pitch top ideas in Korea: TrekHaus and wind turbine simulations earn gold and silver ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2013, 10:54 AM by Ella Wong
  • Portland couple hits zero-energy goal TrekHaus West is featured in Sustainable Business Oregon's new year article, Portland couple hits zero-energy goal.
    Posted Jan 8, 2013, 9:22 PM by Ella Wong
  • For Sale: Two Net-Zero Energy Townhomes! Available Summer 2013.  Here's your chance to live in a new contemporary ultra-high performance home!  Two net-zero energy townhomes built to Passive House Standards in the Montavilla neighborhood in Portland are for sale.  Designed and built by PDX Living.  3 bedroom, 2 bath units.  Each unit 1690 square feet with garage.    Pricing- $379,000 (Unit A) and $389,000 (Unit B).Details here-
    Posted May 17, 2013, 9:48 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West: Net Energy Producer in 2012 Yes, Ella and Randy just celebrated living a full year at TrekHaus West!  Living net zero is no longer a fantasy.  We generated more energy than we used in 2012!  Here are the numbers... TrekHaus West Energy Use/Generation Summary Year 1 (12/26/11 to 12/26/12) Total Energy Use 1st Year:  3322 kWh Average Energy Use Per Day:  9.1 kWh/day Total Energy Generation 1st Year:  3748 kWh (PV turned on 5/8/12, so just 7.5 months of solar power) Expected annual energy generation:  about 4600 kWh from 4.70 kW system Estimated annual energy production/excess:  1260 kWh  (enough to power EV about 3800 miles) Additional solar capacity exists if needed ...
    Posted Dec 26, 2012, 2:04 PM by Ella Wong
  • O2Haus, Portland's 1st speculative net-zero energy project Rob and Bart's (PDX Living) next project is O2Haus, an exciting new speculative net-zero energy project in the Montavilla neighborhood of NE Portland.  Please check it out here-
    Posted Jan 3, 2013, 7:52 PM by Ella Wong
  • Passive House Certification Confirmed! TrekHaus has been officially certified by Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).  Earlier this year, TrekHaus received Platinum level certification from Earth Advantage New Homes.  Thanks go to PDX Living for making this possible!
    Posted May 21, 2012, 4:37 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus Preview- Solar Oregon 2012 Goal Net Zero Tour May 5 Five great homes are on the Solar Oregon 2012 Goal Net Zero tour Saturday May 5.  For those who can't come by and visit TrekHaus, here's a preview from the tour brochure...
    Posted May 3, 2012, 3:24 PM by Ella Wong
  • Rob & Bart visit High Performance Buildings Class at PSU Rob and Bart give an overview of the design/construction of TrekHaus to students in the High Performance Buildings class at PSU.  Watch it on YouTube...
    Posted May 3, 2012, 3:02 PM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus West goes solar! TrekHaus duplex's  West unit gets 4.70 kW (20 panel) system SolarCity worked with us to design a custom racking system using Schletter rails which mount on the parapet walls of our low slope roof, maintaining the integrity of the white FiberTite roofing membrane.  The solar panels will operate more efficiently on a cool white roof compared to a more conventional dark roof.  The custom design also allows for abundant air flow underneath and around panels which further enhances efficiency.  Five solar panels mounted per rail pair with four rows.   For our particular installation on south-facing low slope roof, the panels are mounted at a 5 degree angle.  With current system, West unit is on track to be ...
    Posted Apr 28, 2012, 8:48 AM by Ella Wong
  • Solar Oregon 2012 Goal Net Zero Tour May 5 Visit five great homes on Solar Oregon's 2012 Goal Net Zero Tour Saturday May 5TrekHaus will be a morning tour stop.Read about these special homes at
    Posted May 22, 2013, 7:04 PM by Ella Wong
  • Saving Money with "Heat-Harnessing" Homes in Passive Houses are described as futuristic "heat-harnessing" homes in the March 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.  With growing interest in the U.S. in passive house and ultra-low energy buildings...maybe not so futuristic in a few years...
    Posted Mar 8, 2012, 10:12 PM by Ella Wong
  • 10 Green Building Trends for 2012 (photos) See this slideshow- 10 Green Building Trends for 2012 (photos)- from Earth Advantage Institute featured on Huffington Post.Trend #4- Deployment and testing of new materials - mentions our research study with PSU.
    Posted Jan 26, 2012, 8:52 PM by Ella Wong
  • A New Year article about TrekHaus in Green Building Advisor News Check out this new article about TrekHaus in Green Building Advisor News...TrekHaus:  A Passivhaus Duplex in Oregon
    Posted Jan 17, 2012, 10:41 AM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus research project with PSU on KATU news A special Green Living news segment on KATU- TV features TrekHaus collaboration with researchers and engineering students from the Green Building Research Lab at Portland State University.  KATU meets the research team at the lab to learn about passive house construction and the phase change material that has been integrated into the "test" side of the TrekHaus duplex to improve energy efficiency and thermal comfort...and then goes on a field trip to visit the TrekHaus site.The students get a great hands-on opportunity to study and monitor building performance, and to learn about highly energy efficient passive house design.To view PSU link, click here.
    Posted Dec 15, 2011, 6:57 PM by Ella Wong
  • Panoramic Preview of TrekHaus Living Space Get a preview glimpse of the 2nd floor living space in the west unit of TrekHaus with this quick panoramic image put together by PSU's Christophe Parroco using the Photosynth app for iPhone. Click here to view. A few technical glitches stitching the photos together, but still a cool view of the space as construction nears completion.  Just some final trim and detail work to do before it is move-in ready.  Cork flooring in this west unit.  Solid strand woven bamboo flooring in the east unit. Have some fun navigating this panoramic image with your mouse or touch.  Not much to see on the ceiling, but you can navigate down the stairs and see into the front entry ...
    Posted Dec 9, 2011, 10:22 PM by Ella Wong
  • Innovative Indow Windows- inserts which block cold winter drafts With winter on the way,  you may want to look into window inserts made by Portland company Indow WindowsThese easy to install inserts block cold winter drafts.  Watch how they work and are installed...PSU's Green Building Research Lab is helping to test the window inserts both in the lab and in homes in the Portland area.
    Posted Dec 8, 2011, 10:43 PM by Ella Wong
  • Christina Williams from Sustainable Business Oregon writes about TrekHaus & Passive House Movement Check out these two articles posted on Monday (9/26/2011) in Sustainable Business Oregon.1. "Passive" building gains momentum amid controversy.2. Slideshow: TrekHaus aims to move passive house forward article with photo gallery.
    Posted Sep 28, 2011, 11:15 PM by Ella Wong
  • New TrekHaus "Channel" on Vimeo by Silver Peasant Productions More "rough cut" video vignettes brought to you by neighbor Jeff Cole (Silver Peasant Productions) on the new TrekHaus "Channel" on Vimeo- 1: Phase Change Material Segment 2: Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) Segment 3: Thermally Isolated/Interrupted Custom Studs (TICS)at Segment 4: PSU Monitoring Silver Peasant Productions
    Posted Sep 28, 2011, 9:59 PM by Ella Wong
  • Watch time lapse of Whistler Passive House- "Rainbow Duplex" The building shell of this passive house in Whistler, BC (Rainbow Duplex) was assembled in 4.5 days using prefab wall system supplied by BC Passive HouseThe preliminary blower door test (0.37 ACH @50 pascal) easily met passive house standard for airtightness (<0.6 ACH @50 pascal).Watch the building shell go up on this video...Diagram of prefab wall panel system from
    Posted Sep 28, 2011, 7:50 PM by Ella Wong
  • Video vignette on phase change material by Silver Peasant Neighbor Jeff Cole (Silver Peasant Productions) will be producing video vignettes on the TrekHaus project.  Jeff's first segment is on phase change material (PCM).  Check out the "rough cut" at Silver Peasant Productions BioPCM, a soy-based phase change material, is an easy way to increase thermal mass and improve thermal comfort by minimizing indoor temperature fluctuations.  When the house gets hot (above 76 degrees F), BioPCM stores heat by changing from solid to liquid.  As the house cools down (below 76 degrees F), BioPCM changes from liquid to solid and releases heat.  The thermal mass of one sheet of BioPCM (about half inch thick) is like adding 12 inches of concrete!  BioPCM can ...
    Posted Sep 28, 2011, 10:20 PM by Ella Wong
  • Empowerhouse: Solar Decathlon Team Partners with Habitat for Humanity in Washington, D.C. Empowerhouse, a net-zero energy passive house designed by students from 3 schools, will be on display later this month at the 2011 Solar Decathlon event on the National Mall.  After the competition, the house will be moved to the Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. where a second home will be added by Habitat for Humanity to create an affordable 2700 SF two-family home.  Read about this great project at 
    Posted Sep 20, 2011, 8:50 AM by Ella Wong
  • Austrian Passivhaus expert Gunter Lang visits Trekhaus! Read about Gunter Lang and his visit in Bridget Otto's September 16, 2011 article in the Oregonian-Austrian Passivhaus expert Gunter Lang visits Portland's Trekhaus.
    Posted Sep 19, 2011, 9:45 AM by Ella Wong
  • TrekHaus research team presents poster at Oregon BEST FEST '11! Just for science nerds who like poster sessions...Abstract:   Integrating Phase Change Materials in Passive House Construction for Improved Thermal ComfortK. Campbell, S. Rodriguez, S. Gross, C. Parroco , and D. Sailor, Portland State University,, 503-725-4265 This poster presents an overview of an ongoing project that seeks to understand the potential for improving thermal comfort in homes built to the passive house standard by incorporating phase change materials (PCM). A key characteristic of PCM for building applications is the ability to store heat in the form of latent heat associated with the melting of the PCM (usually a wax-like material) at room temperature. The PCM, which is generally encased either in micro or ...
    Posted Sep 19, 2011, 8:35 AM by Ella Wong
  • 1st Passivhaus office building in US being built by volunteers in Woodburn, OR! Check out the CAPACES Leadership Institute being built using 100% volunteer labor for  PCUN Oregon's Farmworker Union!  This is an amazing project in Woodburn, Oregon that will be the 1st Passivhaus office building in the United States.CAPACES Leadership Institute- court entry and parking lotWatch student volunteers at work!For those interested in floor plans and construction details, take a look at this poster from
    Posted Sep 28, 2011, 8:43 AM by Ella Wong
  • Favorite photo tweet from neighbor Dan Wheeler Our favorite tweet with photo about TrekHaus is from neighbor, graphic artist, and cartoonist Dan Wheeler (, who often cruises by TrekHaus on his bike and likes to ooh and aahCheck out Dan's photo tweet at!
    Posted Aug 23, 2011, 1:07 PM by Ella Wong
  • Introducing TrekHaus affiliates in Bend, OR & AZ This is Randy's brother Dave, TrekHaus aficionado extraordinaireStrolling along the Deschutes River by the Old Mill in Bend, Oregon.  Nice looking shirt, Dave!...and let's not forget Ella's mom in Arizona giving her version of the L, L, & P sign.
    Posted Aug 21, 2011, 9:11 PM by Ella Wong
  • Why go solar? If you want to get off of fossil fuel, what are you going to use to power your new slim energy-fit lifestyle?  This graph shows world power generation potential (based on what we can practically get with current technology) from solar and other renewables.These numbers are from smart guys at Caltech and MIT.  Other researchers have reported a little higher numbers for wind...but even so, who's the overwhelming winner?  Take advantage of any renewable sources that are suited to your specific location...but globally, let's go solar!
    Posted Aug 22, 2011, 7:48 AM by Ella Wong
  • Filming New Passivhaus Documentary! Faith Morgan, Executive Director of Community Solutions and filmmaker (The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil), was in town last week and took time to visit with us at the TrekHaus.  Faith and her husband Pat Murphy are working on a new documentary about Passivhaus and deep energy retrofits.  Faith was particularly interested in design features and construction methods Rob and Bart used to dramatically reduce building energy requirements at affordable cost.  Faith has been filming all over the US and in Europe.Thanks Faith Morgan for stopping by!
    Posted Aug 18, 2011, 9:27 PM by Ella Wong
  • Reaching for Net-Zero Energy & Deep Energy Discounts in Your Home For more insight into what TrekHaus is about, read Reaching for Net-Zero Energy and Deep Energy Discounts in Your Home.
    Posted Jul 19, 2011, 11:49 PM by Ella Wong
  • Evaluating a PassivHaus? Measurable and Hidden Benefits Check out Bart's article Evaluating a PassivHaus?  Measurable and Hidden Benefits!
    Posted Jul 9, 2011, 4:13 PM by Ella Wong
  • 1st blower door test meets Passive House standard! June 24, 2011- Our first blower door test for air tightness came in at ACH50 of 0.51 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals applied across the building envelope.  ACH50 of 0.6 or less meets Passive House standards.  With the help of the "sucker door" to help find air leaks, this number should come down considerably.  More detailed description and TrekHaus photos of today's "sucker door" and blower door tests are on the Earth Advantage Facebook page here.Blower Door TestSucker Door
    Posted Jun 26, 2011, 12:44 PM by Ella Wong
  • CoreHaus is NW Energy Star Home of the Year! CoreHaus, built by PDX Living, has been awarded !st Place by Northwest Energy Star for 2010/2011 Home of the Year!  Congrats Rob and Bart for a great job!  Check out other winners here....
    Posted Jun 20, 2011, 8:29 AM by Ella Wong
  • Museum exhibit in Cleveland is a Passive House! SmartHome Cleveland is a passive house constructed next to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which will be on exhibit this Summer 2011 in conjunction with the exhibition Climate Change.  Read more news about it in this June 16, 2011 article from the Seattle Times.
    Posted Jun 18, 2011, 12:16 PM by Ella Wong
  • TICS (thermally interrupted custom studs)? Watch Bart and Lina build TICS (thermally interrupted custom studs).  Using TICS avoids thermal bridging.
    Posted Jun 10, 2011, 6:31 AM by Ella Wong
  • CoreHaus featured in Portland Tribune Heating your home with a hair dryer?  Check out this article about the CoreHaus in the Portland Tribune....
    Posted Apr 25, 2011, 6:31 PM by Ella Wong
  • Hanse Haus goes up in just 8 hours Working with prefab components, watch the Hanse Haus passive house go up...
    Posted Apr 9, 2011, 8:37 PM by Ella Wong
  • Whistler Passive House Duplex Project The Rainbow Duplex in Whistler, BC is an affordable housing project that uses prefab components.
    Posted Apr 5, 2011, 11:40 AM by Ella Wong
  • Phase Change Material Modeling Results Click here to check out Kevin's latest PCM modeling results...
    Posted Apr 4, 2011, 9:51 PM by Ella Wong
  • Kill A Watt Monitors at Library Be ENERGY AWARE!!  Check out a Kill A Watt Monitor at the Library!
    Posted Feb 27, 2011, 12:02 PM by Ella Wong
  • Mr. Sulu sighting at PSU Mr. Sulu (George Takei) on his way to Hoffmann Hall for JACL Day of Remembrance Event....
    Posted Feb 20, 2011, 6:05 PM by Ella Wong
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