The first National Park Service house in the United States has achieved net zero energy here in Central Oregon. At the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (a gorgeous area that anyone who comes to Oregon should visit, by the way), a small house has been outfitted with solar panels, will generate clean electricity to power the electric vehicle driven by the park ranger and the information kiosk installed to help visitors.
The John Day Fossil Beds facility will feed back into the grid more electricity than it will consume. With the National Park Service aiming to be carbon-neutral, the facility here in Oregon will demonstrate energy efficiency possibilities for other NPS locations across the country. In fact, the Park Service’s director has challenged parks to be as energy efficient as possible, avoiding the use of any fossil fuels.
While the Painted Hills building is the first NPS house to be carbon-neutral, an intern center in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California was actually the first National Parks facility to meet the criteria.
Jim Hammet, superintendent of the Fossil Beds, stated that the carbon-neutral National Park Service house in Central Oregon was modeled after designs that achieved net-zero energy in residential homes. The Park Service worked with Zero Energy Plans in Washington State to develop the ranger’s house which generates more energy than it consumes.
Ted L. Clifton has been a designer and builder for more than 45 years. Educated at Berkeley, California, Ted has worked in every phase of construction and knows first-hand what it takes to design and construct a quality home. Having built hundreds of homes as well as commercial and institutional buildings, Ted has the advantage of extensive knowledge of the means and methods used in all three. He has worked in three very different climate zones, from the foothills of California, to Ketchikan, Alaska, to Whidbey Island, Washington.