'Zero energy' Bend home healthy in many ways

Proceeds to benefit St. Charles Cancer Center patients

BEND, Ore. - Start with a house that uses zero energy -- now add community benefit into the mix. A zero-net energy home is being built in the new neighborhood of Hidden Hills in southeast Bend that also will help cancer patients.

When it's finished and sold this summer, the money will go to the St. Charles Foundation for Cancer Support Services.

A local builder came up with the idea, after seeing his neighbor struggle during her husband's fight with cancer. Then he teamed up with a real estate broker.

"We want to give back to the community locally here, and also promote zero-energy homes," The Garner Group real estate broker David Sailors said Tuesday.

The idea is for a zero-energy house to use no electricity -- or rather, its owners don't have to pay for electricity.

Sailors says this project is to show how building a house like this can be affordable for the average buyer. Partners of the "Net Hope" project say they hope to make this a yearly tradition.

Seven Bridge Signature Homes,, St. Charles Foundation and The Garner Group Real Estate came together on the unique collaboratve project, dubbed "Net Hope--A Community Collaboration Supporting St. Charles Cancer Center and Zero Net Energy Home."

David Hesla, owner of Seven Bridge Signature Homes, came up with the concept when his own neighbor found limited resources during her husband's fight with cancer.

"I have been involved in charitable endeavors in the past, so I started talking with others in the industry about my idea to help cancer patients and their families," Hesla said.

And the "Net Hope" project was born.

Hesla began working with Sailors, a licensed broker at The Garner Group, who introduced him to the founders of, Joe Emerson and Ann Brayfield.

Zero energy homes produce more energy than they consume in the summer, creating an energy credit the owner can use in the winter.

"The home produces as much energy as it uses over the course of a year," Emerson said. "It will have solar photovoltaic panels and thick walls filled with insulation. It will be airtight and have energy-efficient appliances and lighting. It is healthier for the environment, healthier for its occupants and healthier for the owner's pocketbook than standard construction."

Sailors and The Garner Group will be marketing the three-bedroom contemporary home.

"This is an exciting opportunity to show the community the benefits of a zero energy home and help local people in need," Sailors said.

The new home will be located at 61076 Ruby Peak Lane, and will be completed by mid-summer in time for the Central Oregon Builders Association Tour of Homes.

The builder and seller will donate proceeds from its sale to St. Charles Foundation for cancer support services and nurse navigation to help patients and their families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The partners hope to make this an annual project.

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