Karuna House

View Photos

Humble footprint, bold presence.

Karuna House is an ambitious residential project designed to meet a combination of the world’s most demanding green building certifications. Built in response to its location on a south facing slope overlooking the Willamette Valley’s rich agricultural land, Karuna House provides spectacular views of majestic Mt. Hood and the Cascade Range to the east. 

Heating, cooling, and hot water are supplied by an efficient heat pump system, and a heat recovery ventilator provide the Passive House with a continuous supply of fresh, preheated air. The home’s super-insulated building envelope is expected use 90% less heating and cooling energy than a typical home. 

Minimizing heat gain

Solar heat gain is controlled through the use of exterior operable blinds that shade triple-glazed windows.

Demarcating activity

Two towers anchor Karuna House to the earth, marking the location of double-height spaces and vertical circulation. 

The project is the first MINERGIE-certified building in North America, earning the top rating of MINERGIE-P-ECO. Additionally, it has achieved Passive House PHIUS+, LEED for Homes Platinum, and Net Zero Energy by incorporating onsite solar panels. It is expected to be one of the few homes in the world certified by both MINERGIE and Passive House Institute US, and is the first to earn all three certifications.

Karuna House

Location

Newberg, OR

Completion

2013

Size

3,500 sf

Certification

Passive House PHIUS+; LEED Platinum for Homes; MINERGIE-P-ECO

Awards

2015 National Institute of Building Science Beyond Green Merit Award, High-Performance Buildings

2014 GreenBuilder Home of the Year Award, Best Building Science

2013 Portland 2030 Challenge Design Award for Excellence in Residential Net Zero Energy

2013 Honoree; Portland Business Journal’s Innovation in Sustainability Awards, Energy