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With the landscaping and all but the common room complete, we invited members of the media to attend a private tour of Ankeny Row.

Ankeny Row Courtyard_Solar

Green Hammer CEO, Stephen Aiguier, led the tour, along with Green Hammer Certified Passive House Consultant, Alex Boetzel.


We heard from some of the Ankeny Row owners, such as Francie and Michael Royce and Richard Benner, about their process for purchasing the land and hiring Green Hammer to help them complete this net-zero-energy community.

Richard Benner

Touring the kitchen in Unit 3

Unit 3 Kitchen

The exterior of Unit 3

Ankeny Row Townhouse

In late February, the partners of Ankeny Row began moving in! Here’s Francie cooking up a healthy meal in her new kitchen with custom cabinets made by Urban Timberworks.


Carol and John (their living room below), recent Peace Corps volunteers and world travelers, are excited to have a home base that produces all of its own energy.



Landscaping is next. Can’t wait to see the transformed courtyard!


This fabulous weather has been great for the Ankeny Row job crew. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look from the job site in early September.

IMG_4788Cellulose insulation, made from recycled newsprint and other paper sources, was being blown into Building B.


Deck beams and roofing were being installed in Building A.





IMG_4811Leland, of Urban Timberworks, and Patrick, of Green Hammer, were reviewing plans for cabinetry for the bathrooms in Building A.

Dense Pack Cellulose Insulation (ground up newspapers treated w/ borate for insect and fire resistance) shows up on site!

Dense Pack Cellulose Insulation (ground up newspapers treated w/ borate for insect and fire resistance) shows up on site!

Check out the foundation work on Building C! The foundation is constructed using EPS Geofoam, which is lightweight and strong enough to hold up highway on-off ramps.

Insulation for foundation of Bldg CThree-inch EPS Geofoam insulation, ready to be installed as the foundation of Building C.

Bldg C 3 inch Geofoams in placeThree-inch EPS Geofoam insulation is being placed as the foundation of Building C.

Geofoam Foundation BldgCThese 13-inch Geofoams are strong enough to hold up highway bridges & on-off ramps.

Rebar over Geofoam_BldgCRebar installation on top of Geofoam

Rebar over Geofoam_BldgC_CompleteRebar installation on the Building C foundation is complete!

Clause at Ankeny RowClaus is air sealing around the windows at Building B.

Window Install

Clause and Jesse install Zola triple-pane windows at Building B.


Framing is almost complete at Building A.


James calculates the rise of the roof.


Justin cuts an opening for a window on the second floor of Building A.


Trusses on Building A.


Trusses on Building A.

Architect Daryl Rantis

Architect Daryl Rantis

It’s with deep sorrow that we share the news that Architect Daryl Rantis passed away on Saturday, March 15th from a massive heart attack while mountain biking.

Daryl was what we and many others consider one of the great American architects of our time, with an exceptional talent for the art of architecture. We were blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him on groundbreaking projects such as Ankeny Row.

Daryl is survived by his wife Jennifer and two daughters Cece, 15, and Camille, 11. They will be holding a service in Portland at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21st under the covered pavilion at the top of Mt. Tabor Park, one of his favorite places. All who wish to honor his life are invited to attend.

On a sunny day in March, Green Hammer staff convened at Ankeny Row to see first-hand the progress being made at these net-zero-energy townhomes designed to meet Passive House standards. 

Ankeny Row CollageTop Left: DensGlass Sheathing will provide superior moisture and mold resistance. Top Right: Green Hammer staff discuss the company’s Guiding Principles. Bottom Left: The view of SE Ankeny Street – a bike boulevard – from inside a townhome. Bottom Right: The entire structure is built of FSC-certified wood products. 


Foundation CollageWhile these photos might conjure images of fluffy ice cream sandwiches, the high-density foam supporting this concrete slab foundation at Ankeny Row is strong enough to support highway bridges.

What’s the lowdown on the foundation?

The one-foot thick Type II EPS foam creates a “bathtub” in which the concrete for Ankeny Row was poured. Especially fabricated by Insul Foam, the high-density foam continues up the sides of the foundation, eliminating thermal bridging between the concrete and the ground and creating a super-insulated floor.

“Using high-density foam as a structural foundation is not new in the commercial industry,” says Green Hammer’s Dylan Lamar, Ankeny Row’s Passive House consultant. “It’s actually stronger than soil. Type II EPS foam is commonly used as structural fill under highway bridge foundations, for example, but it’s finding new applications in the high-performance residential market.”

Because this technique is becoming common in Passive Houses, we can expect to see it more often in the future, Lamar says.

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, Green Hammer and the owners of Ankeny Row, LLC celebrated the groundbreaking of Ankeny Row.

Ankeny Row groundbreaking

Dr. Wolfgang Feist, the co-originator of the Passive House concept, and founder of the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, joined them in the official “first dig.” Feist encouraged the owners to open their doors to the public and share lessons learned through the process of designing, constructing and living in houses designed to the Passive House standard.

This was a festive and exciting day for the owners of Ankeny Row. Below, Dick Benner – an Ankeny Row owner – gives a welcome speech to those in attendance. To Benner’s left is Dr. Wolfgang Feist and Green Hammer’s Alex Boetzel.