Affordable Housing Community Built to Passive House Energy Standards to Open in Oregon

HILLSBORO, OR - REACH CDC along with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici will celebrate the grand opening of Orchards at Orenco, a new development located at the Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Oregon. Orchards at Orenco Phase I is the largest multi-family building built to Passive House energy standards in North America.

The celebration takes place on Monday, June 29th from 10:30 to 12:00 pm at 6520 NE Cherry Dr., Hillsboro, Oregon. In addition to keynote Bonamici, REACH will welcome State Representative Joe Gallegos, Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey, and Executive Director of Passive House US Katrin Klingenberg.

The Orchards at Orenco emphasizes REACH’s goals of providing a comprehensive model of affordable living, using transit-oriented design and green building technology. With its proximity to light rail and multiple community amenities, the Orchards addresses REACH’s strategy of connecting people to economic growth hubs. REACH is tackling the growing shortage of affordable rental housing in the region by offering the Orchards at Orenco, a three-phase development with rents affordable to residents earning approximately 50% of area Median Family Income (MFI), or approximately $30,000 for a single-person household. Rents at the 57-unit first phase building range from $611-$733/month. During June, REACH will break ground on Phase II, a 58-unit building located on land adjacent to Phase I. Phase II has an estimated twelve month construction period.

As the largest multi-family building built to Passive House energy standards in North America, tenants will receive unprecedented savings on their energy bills, achieving nearly 90% energy reduction for heat usage and 60-70% for overall energy use as compared to a LEED Certified building. Some of the key innovative features include triple-paned windows, a heat recovery system and a super-insulated building envelope. The Orchards recently won the Portland Business Journal’s Better Bricks Sustainable Project of the Year award for its commitment to green technology and energy efficiency.

“Stable, quality housing makes a big difference in the lives of low-income residents trying to get ahead,” says Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “REACH has been working for decades to make more affordable housing available in Oregon. The Orchards at Orenco will strengthen the community, reduce our environmental footprint and lower residents’ utility bills. I look forward to seeing how the local economy and residents benefit.”

“This development is an outstanding achievement for REACH and our team,” says CEO Dan Valliere. “Between the energy efficiency of the building and its close proximity to transportation in a high job growth region, we expect our residents to benefit significantly from living at Orchards in multiple ways. This project is a testament to the vision and hard work of REACH and all of our partners.”

The development team included Walsh Construction Co.; Ankrom Moisan Architects (of record); William Wilson Architects (of design); Housing Development Center; Green Hammer, Inc.; Housing Authority of Washington County; and PHIUS (Passive House Institute of the United States). The $14.56 project is financed with funding from Wells Fargo, the Community Housing Fund, Meyer Memorial Trust, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH), Oregon Housing and Community Services, NeighborWorks America, and the Washington County Office of Community Development.