September 17, 2021

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Design your heritage

2021 Portland Modern Home Tour is virtual: See sustainable, energy- and space-saving ideas

Not all home tours have returned to in-person viewing, but seeing smartly designed, energy-efficient houses virtually still allows you to take note of everything that captures your attention. The five dwellings spotlighted in 3D filming for the Portland Modern Home Tour on Saturday, July 24, are exemplars of sustainable building and decor trends.

Two dwellings were created to exacting “passive house” standards, which means they can use 80 to 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling, and an 800-square-foot home and 600-square-foot studio show off space-saving techniques.

A Lake Oswego custom house has soundproof hobby rooms, a secret door and a slide into the gym and indoor futsal court.

Ticket holders ($40 at mads.media) will follow along as Portland-area architects, designers and homeowners guide them through the livestream event and answer questions on the spot.

“The livestream and audience interaction are one day, but all content will be available in the weeks after the tour to explore at your leisure,” says Ken Shallcross of the Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS), which produces tours in U.S. cities and Canada.

A season pass ($149) grants you access to MA+DS’ 2021 live and recorded tours.

Here are highlights of the five custom homes selected to be on the 2021 Portland Modern Home Tour:

2021 Portland Virtual Modern Home Tour

The Treehouse by eMZed Architecture is an energy-efficient, low-maintenance house with 3,200 square feet of living space plus a 600-square-foot studio. Peter Eckert

Energy saving on a budget: The Treehouse by eMZed Architecture with 3,200 square feet of living space plus a 600-square-foot studio was built on a tight budget in Southeast Portland’s Mount Tabor neighborhood.

The energy-efficient, low-maintenance house was designed to have no weak points in the building envelope and maintain comfortable temperatures year round at lower energy costs.

In passive houses such as this one, continuous insulation reduces heat losses and gains, airtightness prevents drafts and moisture problems, and uninterrupted ventilation improves air quality.

Large overhangs and a sliding sun screen minimize heating and cooling needs. A 9.6 kW array of solar roof panels provide about the same yearly amount of power consumed by the home and studio, earning the project net-zero energy certification from Earth Advantage, a Portland-based nonprofit facilitating energy efficient, sustainable, quality structures.

The home, constructed by Birdsmouth Design|Build, has high-performance mechanical systems but was built on a budget with economical, interior finishes and creative use of cabinetry.

2021 Portland Virtual Modern Home Tour

A two-story house in Portland’s Raleigh Hills was remodeled in 2021 by Outside Architecture. Caitlin Murray/Built Photo

Remodeling for modern living: A two-story house in Portland’s Raleigh Hills was designed and built by an engineer for his family in the early 1970s and was remodeled in 2021 by Outside Architecture with True Blue construction.

A light material palette and openings create a bright living environment throughout the home’s 2,835 square feet of living space. See-through doors connect the kitchen and family room to the pool terrace.

2021 Portland Virtual Modern Home Tour

Modern Organic Architecture and Vanillawood Design Build
created a modern house with walls of glass that rise to double height ceilings on a private, wooded property in Lake Oswego. Josh Partee

Hobby soundproofing: Modern Organic Architecture and Vanillawood Design Build created a dramatic house with walls of glass that rise to a double-height ceiling on a private, wooded property in Lake Oswego.

The custom home has a soundproof music space and a movie and gaming room accessed through a secret hidden door as well as an indoor futsal court and home gym, reachable by a slide, among its 6,000 square feet of interior living space.

2021 Portland Virtual Modern Home Tour

This modern home in downtown McMinnville by M.O.Daby Design has simple circulation paths and a strong indoor-outdoor connection. M.O.Daby Design

Sustainable concrete: This modern home in downtown McMinnville by M.O.Daby Design has what people crave: Simple circulation paths and a strong indoor-outdoor connection.

There is 1,458 square feet of living space plus an additional 550 square feet of decks accessed through operable glass walls. General contractor and sustainable concrete expert John Mead built the house as well as the kitchen’s concrete island countertop and the outdoor dining table, fire table and Argentine wood fire grill.

2021 Portland Virtual Modern Home Tour

The Electric Slide house in Sellwood is a collaboration between MODaby Design and Oregon Homeworks.David Papazian

Compact second home: The two-level Electric Slide house in Sellwood is a collaboration between M.O.Daby Design and Oregon Homeworks. The home has a vaulted living room, two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms within about 800 square feet of living space plus a covered front entry patio for outdoor entertaining. This second, detached house, called an accessory dwelling unit, shares a single lot with a larger house.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman