Goggle Maps - 1006 NE Emerson Street, Portland, OR 97211

Goggle Maps – 1006 NE Emerson Street, Portland, OR 97211

What is This Place?

People ask me this all the time. First of all, it’s my home – where I eat, sleep, and breath. Where I create and study and learn. Studio and office. And a working model of  sustainable living in my community.

The architectural design for Emerson Street House is based on the work of Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) and Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language (1977), pioneers in urban planning.

The intent the Emerson Street House (ESH) is to have a small footprint in energy, materials, and impact both on the planet and Northeast Portland, Or.  A “passive house,” “net zero” – industry mumbo-jumbo for a house that produces more energy than it uses was the original target. As the house has been constructed, I have learned some hard lessons about passive homes, certifications, trust, and building in a minimalist way.

As the Emerson Street House continues to evolve, I’m working with contractors and suppliers to determine best practices going forward and making my voice known in the newly emerged green building industry.

The Emerson Street House has been created with the intention of serving the community. The main building (UNIT A) at Emerson Street House is a multipurpose space, changing to meet the needs of the residents and the neighbors as they grow and evolve.

Today – the Portland home of  my daughter Allison and my grandson Duncan. A place where Allison can convene a writer’s group in the spirit of the Algonquin Round Table, a place where Duncan can invite his friends to read books in the Nikki Brown Clown Free Library for Children, a stage for musics and plays as my grandson Duncan and his young friends try out their passion and prepare for their lives work. And the transitional home of Will Bennett, thanks to a partnership Cascadia Behavioral Health, helping Will achieve his goal  to have to his own tiny house in the Emerson Street Garden.

Tomorrow -an intergenerational home with one senior or a couple living downstairs and a family living upstairs. The upstairs suite has two bedrooms, a bath, a living area and an outside patio/eco-roof garden. Only a downstairs kitchen and laundry room, meant to facilitate “Aging in Place” for the senior(s) and a stable home for a young family, who exchanges caregiving services for shelter and food, keeping their family together while they establish careers and save for their own home.

Or a larger family – children upstairs and two adult partners downstairs, giving two generations together time and privacy, a more traditional concept.

Or the family space is upstairs and downstairs is a studio/work space, as technology changes where and how we work.

Mia Sheperd, Project Manager, Emerson Street House, flew into Munich from Rwanda to Exhibit at the 2018 International Passive House Conference in Munich, Germany.  Mia is in Rwanda learning how to build healthy affordable housing for Rwandan families.

Mia Sheperd at 2018 International Passive House Conference in Munich, Germany

Mia Sheperd at 2018 International Passive House Conference in Munich, Germany

The Emerson Street House is a Registered Project of the Living Building Challenge of the International Living Future Institute. On May 2, 2018, we completed the two year “shake out” period recommended by Stephan Tanner, Architect for Waldsee BioHaus, the first Certified passive House built in North America.

Thank you for visiting. I hope to see you in person at Emerson Street House, very soon.

– Diane Freaney- – founder