Choosing Sustainable Larch Siding for a Green Community in Portland, Oregon
This blog was originally published by our friends at Green Building +Design Magazine
Story at a glance:
- Pioneer Millworks is a manufacturer of sustainable and reclaimed wood flooring, paneling, siding, and decking.
- Going Street Commons is a community of 11 modern Passive House and zero energy-ready homes in Portland, designed by Birdsmouth and built by Green Hammer.
- Larch is sustainably harvested domestically from small forests in the Pacific Northwest. Its rot resistance rivals Douglas fir, making it a great option for exterior or interior
For more than 30 years Pioneer Millworks has been inspired to develop creative reclaimed and sustainable wood flooring, paneling, decking, and siding from our East and West coast mills. We offer numerous species, grades, textures, and color options for architects and designers that are easy for builders to install and have a story homeowners and end-users can connect with. Most importantly we provide natural building material options that are healthy for people and our planet.
We recently provided sustainable larch siding for Going Street Commons—a vibrant community of 11 modern passive house/zero energy-ready homes in Portland, Oregon’s Cully neighborhood. The barn-style community of homes features energy-efficient appliances, abundant natural lighting, and plenty of shared outdoor green spaces. This project intensely focused on building systems and natural materials and finishes to help ensure healthy indoor air quality—all while being part of a community-minded neighborhood.
Aiming for Zero Energy Ready Earth Advantage Home Certification, the 11 homes that make up Going Street Commons are designed to produce their own energy with the addition of solar panels. Each home has its own private yard with easy access to shared community green spaces and gardens. In keeping with the buildings’ progressive design features, the landscape design also takes a high-performance approach; the site is net-zero in its approach to water and net-positive in its ability to build habitat and store carbon as the landscape matures.
This progressive example of co-housing and community development is on a site that is 1.3 acres in total size, keeping the ecological footprint small while still providing meaningful community spaces that encourages a more sustainable built environment utilizing natural materials. The main floor of the 11 homes is thoughtfully designed for aging in place with laundry, the master en suite, and an open plan living, dining, and kitchen all on the first floor. The additional two bedrooms and bath as well as a loft space and storage make up the second floor.
The Going Street Commons community was designed by Birdsmouth, a design company in Portland, Oregon, and built by our friends at Green Hammer who chose to clad the progressive structures with Pioneer Millworks sustainable larch siding in both black and pebble finishes. Our sustainable larch siding was selected for the community because it is sustainably harvested domestically from small well-managed forests in the Pacific Northwest and processed in our Oregon mill, making this natural cladding regionally sourced for this project.
Why Wood Siding
Larch siding offers many benefits to the design build community with its signature swirling grain and small tight knots that works well in both vertical and horizontal applications. The rot resistance of this underutilized species rivals that of Douglas fir, which makes it a great natural option for exterior or interior uses.
Wood siding has become a hot topic in the world of sustainable home and building design as consumers have become more conscious of the environmental and personal health consequences of building materials in and around their homes. Sought after for its natural carbon sequestering properties in green building applications, wood siding will also naturally age in place, taking on more character as time passes and contributing to the physical and mental well-being that’s exemplified through biophilic design choices.
Wood siding is an all-natural and renewable resource, and it’s available in numerous species and finishes, offering versatility to construction projects in all weather and climate zones. Aside from being a carbon neutral building material, wood in its pure state is completely natural and free of any chemicals of concern or Red List components, making any healthy building certification (like LEED, Zero Energy Ready Earth Advantage, or Living Building Challenge) focus primarily on how it is cured, treated, and finished.
Going Street Commons is the first project in Portland to partner with Phoenix Haus, a pre-fab building company based in Colorado that specializes in high-performance homes.
See more from our friends at GBD: https://gbdmagazine.com/
See our gallery here: https://pioneermillworks.com/project/going-street-commons-or