Ashland boasts many historic homes and a number of new homes built to reflect that style with numerous Craftsman features. Ashland has a distinct Urban Growth Boundary created to avoid sprawl. Everywhere you look there is the feeling of open space. The use of natural materials indoors and out has created a palette that displays the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The housing market in Ashland has recovered strongly from the recession of 2008-2011, seeing home values rising once again. While the real estate industry was impacted, the quality of life and on-going appeal of living in Ashland lessened the impact in comparison to the rest of the region. The construction business in Ashland and all of southern Oregon was challenged by the recession but has shown significant strength and improvement.
Ashland Conservation Programs
The City of Ashland is committed to green building practices as well, from new construction to small remodels to individual appliance purchases. The Ashland Conservation Division was established more than 20 years ago and is responsible for operating water, recycling, air quality and energy conservation programs. The division works with Ashland residents, businesses, the Ashland School District, Southern Oregon University, Asante Ashland Community Hospital and other community groups, to increase the efficiency of their resource usage. The Conservation Division offers energy and water expertise, programs and guidance to Ashland residents and contractors. Zero interest loans or cash incentives are available to both residential and business customers for implementing the efficient use of electric energy in both new construction and existing homes. Solar electric system and solar water heating incentives are also available in addition to tax credits through the Oregon Department of Energy. The Conservation Staff conducts free on site home energy and water analysis reviews to identify ways to increase efficiency.
For more information on resource efficiency and conservation in Ashland, or to get started building your green home, please contact the City of Ashland’s Conservation Division at 541-488-5306 or visit www.ashland.or.us/conserve
In addition to the City of Ashland’s green building policies, there are also environmentally friendly companies that offer remodeling and commercial development. D.A. Boldt Construction is a certified green builder who offers both residential and commercial new construction and remodeling. Reichenshammer Building and Design is a Green Business Council Member through the Oregon Home Builders Association and Mike Neely, president of Ken Krumdieck Inc., is a Certified Green Professional in the industry.
Ashland has companies like Adroit Construction, which focus primarily on large commercial development and construction throughout our region and beyond, in addition to smaller builders, contractors and developers whose focus is also on building quality projects. Communities such as Mountain Meadows Retirement Community, which has won national acclaim, are architecturally designed around Ashland’s beautiful natural setting.
Residential New Construction Programs
The City’s new “SmartBuild” program utilizes ENERGY STAR certification for homes that are built by following the Northwest Energy Star Single Family homes requirements, resulting in homes that are at least 15% more energy efficient than code homes. These savings are typically achieved through a combination of tight duct systems, ENERGY STAR qualified windows, increased insulation levels, and high-efficiency water heating equipment, appliances, and lighting. For more information on the northwest version of this national program, check out the website www.northwestenergystar.com
The SmartBuild program also incorporates Earth Advantage certification to help builders and homeowners to push beyond energy efficiency in their projects to incorporate air quality improvements, reduction in use of potentially harmful or unsustainable products and materials and reduce their physical impact on the surrounding property. The home must pass diagnostic tests which demonstrate that the house and duct system are tight and energy efficient, as well as demonstrate that approved products and materials were incorporated into the construction of the structure. WaterSense certification incentives provide water conservation solutions to the Smartbuild package. For homeowners and builders wanting to seek the most sustainable home possible, Smartbuild also has incentives for “Net Zero” construction, the combination of ultra-high efficiency and on-site solar system that results in a home with an annual energy consumption (and bill) of zero. For more information on determining how the Smartbuild program options fit with your new construction plans visit the Conservation Division website at
For more information on residential energy conservation programs, call (541) 552-2063.