Modern Cottage in Portland’s Forest Park

December 19, 2013

Nestled just above Forest Park is one of Winsome Construction’s latest homes. Forest Park is one of the United States larges urban parks. The park boasts more than 5,100 acres filled with second-growth and old-growth timber, and over 70 miles of recreational trails. It is host to over 112 bird species and 60 mammal species. When Chris and Jacki managed to snatch up a plot of land that borders the park, they were left with the question of what to build.

The question was quickly turned to Nathan Good of Nathan Good Architects. Nathan specializes in contemporary, sustainable structures that work with their surroundings, rather than simply fighting them off. His focus on comfortable, energy efficient homes, coupled with his artistic vision was perfect for this project. Because of the homes proximity to the park there are many laws, regulations and restrictions to protect the surrounding area. The homesite also would receive over 40 inches of rain each year, and in the winter would be susceptible to snow and ice for several months.

What Nathan Good came up with was a small quaint Modern Cottage. Chris and Jacki could not be happier with this 2,300sf daily retreat. They have lived in the home for about 8 months now and enjoy the cozy yet flowing space. The home features 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a open great room/kitchen area. Each of their two children gets their own bedroom and the spare is a guest room/home office. Each room has views of the forest and the wildlife it holds.

While the house may not be large the amount of attention that went into the details is the same as a 6000sf home. The walls of the home are 6″ thick and filled with spray foam insulation and no formaldehyde fiberglass. The roof is filled with spray foam as well, removing all air leaks and drafts. The home is equipped with an air conditioner but Chris and Jacki found that they rarely turned it on this last summer. When Winsome Construction had a blower door test done the house rated at 1.3ach (air exchanges per hour). An average home built today will have a result of 3.9ach. The city of Portland only required 3.0ach or better (for radon mitigation). The toughest standard is Passivhaus at 0.6ach, which only a handful of homes have reached in Oregon. Needless to say this home is tight and draft free.

Since moving in Chris and Jacki have taken the energy efficiency one step further and added solar panels to the roof. Solar City put the system in free of charge, and locked in their electricity rate for 20 years. Not only will they be producing power for free, they will be saving money. While it is still early to tell, initial calculations show that the panels should produce the same amount of energy Chris and Jacki use making the home net-zero.

Extreme care was taken to keep the home simple, functional and friendly to the environment. The kitchen countertops are made from concrete with recycled glass infused. The windows and doors have no trim, reducing wood. Composite lap siding and board and batten siding provide a stable surface that will need less painting and maintenance. Zero VOC (volitile organic compound) paint and adhesives increase indoor air quality and health of the surrounding environment.

While some may want an expansive and opulent home, Chris and Jacki are very happy in their cozy Modern Cottage in the woods. We at Winsome Construction wish them many happy memories in their new beautiful home.

Learn more about our Portland custom homes or explore our full portfolio to see the wide range of our luxury work.

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