Portland-based sustainable building design and consulting firm Green Hammer wants to nail down sustainable building practices in the Rogue Valley.
The company's founder and president, Stephen Aiguier, announced plans to open a location in Ashland early this month.
Green Hammer's energy-efficient building experts have been working on an ultra-low-energy-consuming home in Ashland for the past year, and now they don't want to leave, Aiguier said.
The 5,300-square-foot home perched above Ashland at the top of Strawberry Lane was at first a one-time venture in Southern Oregon for the firm, which typically sticks to the Willamette Valley where its connections to other sustainable-building industries are strong, he said.
The Ashland home, not unique to Green Hammer's portfolio, was built using only Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood from Ashland Lumber and should achieve LEED Platinum certification, Aiguier said.
The acronym stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification developed by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council.
The Ashland home will consume as much energy as a house about an eighth its size, he said.
"I don't see us doing anything that isn't already being done in the Rogue Valley," he said. "I really see us just hopefully turning the volume up for sustainable building in the region.
"We're really looking to collaborate with what is an already incredibly talented region of craftspeople and designers."
Much of the firm's success in Southern Oregon will depend on creating connections among forestland owners, sawmills, lumberyards and a variety of contractors who have the best interest of the natural environment in mind, he said.
"I grew up in a rural place and I'm really passionate about the type of connections that people can make in small communities, and how those connections can become the best way to move a mission forward," he said.
Aiguier plans to move from Portland to Ashland with his family after wrapping up a few ongoing projects in the area, he said. He is originally from Vermont, he said.
Green Hammer has two full-time employees temporarily working out of a rented Ashland home until Aiguier can find a suitable commercial location. He expects the number of Green Hammer employees to increase to about five in Ashland, he said.
"It isn't like we're going to go down and make millions in the Rogue Valley," Aiguier said. "I would just like to get more of these projects moving and happening "… and with the success we've had in the Willamette Valley region, I think we can help make that happen in the Rogue Valley."
Aiguier, who founded Green Hammer 10 years ago, has grown the company to about 30 employees in Portland and expects revenues in 2013 to top $8 million, he said.
"We mean business," he said. "We want to put Southern Oregon on the map for green building."
Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.