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Home And Garden Tour Thinks Small

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EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene home and garden tour on Sunday featured residents who are making the most of their city lots, including one of the first certified passive homes in the state.

A home on Orchard Street was the third stop on the Bring Home and Garden tour, but it topped the list when it came to energy efficiency and sustainability.

The Passivhaus home doesn’t require an active heating system. Instead, it uses insulation, super-efficient windows and doors and a tight shell to maintain the home’s temperature at a comfortable level all on its own throughout the year. Homeowners can even get money for the excess energy the home generates.

This and the fact that the home makes the most of its 1,150 square feet were just some of the reasons behind it being featured on this year’s tour.

“It’s really important to be able to see with your own eyes about what’s possible and what you might want to incorporate into your own home. It’s very different than looking at pictures,” said Win Swafford, the home’s certified passive house carpenter.

The landscaping was also a highlight to the home. The building is surrounded by a variety of edible plants, which also contribute to its energy efficiency. For instance, the grapes growing on the overhang will provide shade in the summer, but during the winter they’ll allow the light into the home for needed heat.

The owners of this home were committed to the sustainable lifestyle and because of that they rebuilt their home from the bottom up. But if you don’t have the resources, the home’s designers said you can start by just assessing your home’s energy efficiency.

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