Karuna House

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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.

Karuna House

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


Newberg, OR




3,500 sq. ft.


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


2016 ENR Regional Best Project Winner, Office/Retail/Mixed-Use category

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

2014 GreenBuilder magazine Home of the Year Award, Best Building Science

2014 Daily Journal of Commerce Top Projects Finalist

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

2013 Honoree - Portland Business Journal's Innovation in Sustainability Awards, Energy