Build It Green! Home Tour Highlights Two Hammer and Hand Design-Build Projects

Design build collaboration is vital to the success of green remodels and new homes. But how can true collaboration be fostered? The Build It Green! Home Tour highlights two Hammer and Hand projects that provide Portland lessons for meaningful participation by client, designer and builder.

Portland, OR – September 13, 2010 (via — The Build It Green! Home Tour 2010 features twenty-one Portland green remodels and new homes that highlight the role of collaborative design build processes in achieving green building goals. Upcycling, use of reclaimed materials, tight building envelopes, and integrated design depend on close collaboration between client, designer and builder. To achieve meaningful collaboration, green builders are moving beyond the conventional model of design build.

“People often think that ‘design build’ means a builder handles all design in-house. Not so,” said Sam Hagerman, President of the Portland remodeler and homebuilder Hammer and Hand. “This outmoded notion creates imbalance and can hinder collaboration. Successful sustainable building projects depend on independent, strong representation by all three building ‘advocacies’ – designer, builder and client.”

Effective design build processes ( ) bring these advocacies around one table to champion their interests, grapple for joint solutions, and craft building designs that are greater than the sum of the parts. This tripartite collaboration becomes more and more crucial as a project’s complexity increases, so it is critical to the success of green remodels and new home construction. This notion of collaboration forms the kernel for the US Green Building Council’s emphasis on “integrated design” and the eco-charrette.

This year’s Build It Green! Home Tour features two exemplars of such design build collaboration ( ): the Engstrom & Werlin Duplex Renovation and the Curtis Creative Small Infill, both designed by Departure Design and built by Hammer and Hand ( ). Design build collaboration played a unique role in each project.

“For the duplex renovation we were engaged in a process of discovery with the client and designer, from demolition to code compliance to material choices. It really became a construction collaboration that guided us to a satisfying, sustainable end,” said Hagerman. “For the new infill project, on the other hand, our commitment to using reclaimed and upcycled building materials dictated that we mimic Just In Time manufacturing. Our design build collaboration allowed us to be nimble and super responsive when the right materials became available in the marketplace, which allowed us to avoid warehousing and keep upcycling costs down.”

The Build It Green! Home Tour 2010, presented by the City of Portland, will take place on Saturday, September 25, 11am – 5pm. Tickets are $12. A free Build It Green! Fair will be at Ecohaus, 819 SE Taylor, 3pm – 7pm.

“Every year the tour does a fantastic job of capturing the cutting edge of sustainable building in Portland,” Hagerman said. “This year’s presents a nice cross-section of design build collaboration in the City, from affordable housing to Passive House to small footprint infill projects.”

To learn more about innovative design build collaborations and green building, visit the Hammer and Hand website at

About Hammer and Hand:
Design build contractor Hammer & Hand’s ethos honors both the embodied energy and embodied narrative within every building. As a steward of Portland’s built environment since 1995, the firm’s state-of-the-art remodels, historically accurate restorations and new homes of lasting craft and beauty give physical expression to that ethos of stewardship. The firm specializes in remodels, new homes and commercial spaces, handyman repairs, home energy audits, Passive House homes, and upcycled furniture.

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Press Contact:
Zack Semke
Hammer and Hand
1020 SE Harrison Street
Portland, OR 97214

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