IronHorse Lodge, Prineville
Residents of IronHorse Lodge don’t worry about changing energy costs. That’s because the lodge, which includes 26 units of affordable housing for low-income seniors, uses 77 percent less energy than a typical multifamily building built to Oregon energy code.
Wanting to keep operating costs low and predictable for fixed-income residents, Pacific Crest Affordable Housing enrolled the lodge in Energy Trust’s Path to Net Zero initiative, which helped the building get as close as possible to consuming only as much energy as it produces in a year. From early design through construction, Pacific Crest received technical assistance to make sure energy-saving features were included. Energy Trust cash incentives totaling $118,000 helped offset the cost.
Solar panels on the building’s roof produce energy for water heating and electricity. A tightly sealed building envelope, extra insulation and a variable-refrigerant-flow heating and cooling system keep residents comfortable year-round. Solar tubes bring natural light into hallways, while efficient LEDs light common areas and individual units. Low-flow water fixtures cut down on energy and water use.
IronHorse expects to save and generate enough energy to decrease annual expenses by more than $18,000, keeping rent and utility bills lower for residents. And Pacific Crest has plans to build a similar 50-unit project in Bend.
“It’s all about the quality of life for residents,” said Rob Roy, Pacific Crest co-founder. “People who have stable housing have a much better life. A building like this goes a long way to fulfilling that goal.”