Visit our new blog!

We’ve upgraded our website and blog, so please update your bookmarks! Current blog can be found here.

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Upcoming Event: Passsive House Days

Affordable, comfortable, environmentally friendly- Passive House embodies the best in sustainable building. The Passive House Days, taking place internationally from November 9-11, provides the perfect opportunity for anyone wishing to see this firsthand.

Green Hammer has several projects on the tour. We invite you to stop by to experience the benefits of Passive House construction.

Friday 11/9
CAPACES Leadership Institute
Woodburn OR
Open House 10am – 3pm
RSVP to:

Friday 11/9
Cash-Darienzo Residence
Portland OR
Guided Tour 2pm

Saturday 11/10
Taccogna-Donough Residence
Dundee OR
Open House 10am – 5pm
RSVP to:

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A response to Hurricane Sandy- New post up at Sustainable Business Oregon blog

Stephen’s newest post is up at Sustainable Business Oregon:

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I grappled with many emotions: Relief that my family and friends are safe, sorrow for the pain and damage left behind and — mostly — enormous frustration caused by yet another reminder of the devastating human, economic and environmental impacts of climate change.

Climate change, and the role and responsibility of government for addressing it, have been markedly missing from this presidential election. Even when President Barack Obama made brief mention of his efforts to fight global warming, he was mocked. While some politicians are now bringing this into the campaign discourse, it just doesn’t feel genuine. All I can think is, “duh.”

So why is the CEO of a small design-build firm in Oregon blogging about global climate change? Because given the right resources, incentives and political leadership, I believe that I can be part of the solution. Read more here…

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New post up at the DJC

Read Stephen’s newest blog post at the Daily Journal of Commerce: Can Government Stimulate the Economy?

I have generally found the presidential debates to be less than inspiring (I guess that oil, gas and coal expansions are more impressive than an agenda based on green jobs, clean air and clean water).  I have, however, found the positioning related to the role of government in stimulating our economy to be highly troublesome.

In Monday’s debate, former Gov. Mitt Romney re-iterated his case to keep government out of business when he said, “It’s not government that makes business successful. It’s not government investments that make businesses grow and hire people.”  Yes, Mitt, I think we all agree, and I doubt there is a successful business owner in the nation who believes government is what “makes” a business succeed; however, and especially in troubled times, government plays a key role in fostering that success.

The U.S. government’s expansionary tactics in reaction to the 2008 economic crash kept this state, our country and the globe from experiencing what would otherwise have been the greatest depression in the past 75 years. Clearly the Great Recession has been, and continues to be, hellish and stressful, and as a young CEO in the building market, I am hyper aware of just how hard we were knocked back. Yet now that my company is strongly planted back on its feet with a healthy future ahead and preparing for its 10-year celebration, I am able to reflect on how it was able to survive and find support.

Certainly the U.S. Federal Reserve’s wise move to continue driving mortgage rates to historic lows has been a primary force behind the major uptick in new construction nationally. The Boston Globe recently reported low rates as the primary reason for the 38 percent growth in new construction starts over the past 12 months. Behind these statistics are great local stories of new jobs and healthy homes. I have to wonder whether a Romney administration would have interacted with business in this way.

In 2009, the city of Portland, with $2.5 million in government block grant funds, seeded a brilliant concept put forth by CEO Derek Smith for city residents to receive home energy upgrades through low-interest loans backed by the energy savings created. The resulting company, Clean Energy Works Portland, expanded statewide to become Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) through $20 million dollars of seed funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood program. Derek reports that, in less than two years, CEWO has weatherized nearly 2,000 homes, added 300 jobs to Oregon’s economy and saved Oregonians over 22.1 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in energy – that’s more energy than 22 nuclear power plants can produce in one hour; the 0.1 GWh alone will fly a Boeing 747 for an hour!  The beauty of it all is that these savings and benefits will just keep on accumulating. As a primary contractor for Clean Energy Works Oregon, I can attest that the 300 jobs created by CEWO are solid and climbing. I’m proud to be an American when I know that because our government believed in our industries’ smart ideas, we now have 300 and growing working class heroes back in action. I hope the national discourse can move beyond Romney negating the role of government in restoring our economy and Obama defending both his successes and failures in this arena. Instead, let’s have more focus on the specifics of how the government on both sides of the debate can collaborate to optimally support businesses to succeed. It’s critical we take our time and investigate which industries merit investment and then invest in those ideas to best enable more working class heroes to survive and thrive. From my perspective, I’d bet on the energy conservation industry!

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Now offering: Design Slams!

Take the opportunity to have two talented architects tackle a design issue in your house. Want a dream kitchen? Better flow through the living area? A smartly designed bathroom? Tell us your goals, then meet with our team in your space to see what they come up with. While the architects sketch their ideas, our energy expert will consult on energy and air quality opportunities for your house, offering a range of solutions for improvement. When the buzzer goes off, review the concepts and choose your winner! Green Hammer will provide a price proposal for the winning concept within 48 hours.

Price: $300

This is a limited time offer.

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Home Work for Schools Program

Home Work for Schools provides an easy opportunity to raise money for your school while promoting energy efficiency. As a founding member of the ‘Home Work for Schools’ coalition, we will donate $300 to a homeowner’s school of choice when they complete a home energy upgrade with us through the program. Home Work for Schools will help parents get the word out by providing flyers and by making representatives available to attend parent gatherings and school events. Contact Home Work for Schools at

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Meet the Architects!

Green Hammer is lucky to have two of the nation’s most impressive architects on staff… Read more about them below:

Jan Fillinger

Jan Fillinger

A Certified Passivhaus Consultant and LEED-accredited professional, Jan has 25 years of experience in design that emphasizes environmental responsibility, beauty, efficiency, comfort, functionality, and cost-effectiveness. His portfolio includes multi-family, academic, religious, library, civic, mixed-use, office, and hospitality projects, as well as hundreds of residences.
In 2010 he completed the award-winning Orchard Street House, Eugene’s first Passivhaus building. Jan was also the lead Passivhaus consultant to St. Vincent DePaul and Bergsund-DeLaney Architects on their three-story subsidized multi-family housing Passive House project completed in 2012.


Daryl Rantis

Daryl Rantis

Daryl Rantis is a licensed architect with more than 25 years of experience and an extensive background in traditional neighborhood design and environmentally sensitive architecture. A longtime member of the Congress for New Urbanism and a graduate and visiting professor of Kansas State University, Daryl apprenticed with nationally recognized architects Helmut Jahn, of Murphy Jahn Architects of Chicago, and with the late AIA Gold Medal winner E. Fay Jones of Arkansas. For many years, Daryl was principal Architect at Rantis Architects, in downtown Asheville, NC. Daryl and his staff worked with a variety of clients, emphasizing sustainable design and smart growth concepts.

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