Monday, November 29, 2010

Solar Array Ceremony at ecoFLATS!

On Monday, November 29th, 2010 we celebrated a milestone by bringing the Solar Array online at ecoFLATS. We are now producing clean, sustainable electricity and will soon be feeding power back to the grid. Please watch the video below to view this exceptional accomplishment. Special thanks to Imagine Energy and all those who enabled this vision to come to life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ecoFLATS wrapped up

The windows, doors, and weatherproofing membrane are now installed at ecoFLATS, with siding being installed as we speak!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ecoFLATS images

In the spirit of ecoFLATS inching closer to completion, here are some renderings of what the finish product will look like. Enjoy!

east elevation
perspective at exterior walkway
1 bedroom unit

2 bedroom unit

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Work Underway at the South Waterfront

Siteworks has begun construction on over 9,000 sq ft of ground floor retail space in the Sidecar building of The Ardea. Our work is featured on Urbanworks Real Estate website:

"Upcoming Developments:

With seven letters of intent currently in negotiations, Kennedy Associates has given the green light to local design build firm Siteworks to bring 9,400 SF of ground floor retail space to a warm shell conditions for future tenants at the Ardea.   Retailers will have the opportunity to lease move in ready spaces complete with solid hard wood floors and roll up garage doors."

"Despite the tough economic climate, 2010 is starting to show a glimmer of what is to come at the South Waterfront.  The number of residents and OHSU employees is steadily climbing.  
Current building occupancy numbers show that the dust is settling at the construction zones and buildings are nearing their capacity and retailers have begun taking note.  
Current occupancy rates are as follows:
  • Meriwether(245 units)- 100% SOLD!
  • John Ross (303 units)-   92% SOLD!
  • Atwater (214 units)- 60% SOLD!
  • The Ardea (323 units)- 81.6% Leased
  • The Riva (292 units)- 90% Leased
  • The Matisse (272 units)-  21% Leased                       
  • Mirabella (281 units)- 85% Reserved.  Move in began August 31st
  • The Tamarack (209 units)- Construction scheduled to begin Fall 2010
  • OHSU Center for Health and Healing- Approximately 1,150 Employees 
We are seeing increased interest from local grocery store owners, restaurateurs, and other service providers (salons, wellness centers, etc.).  All of this coupled with the spaces already leased, point to a viable economic and residential center."

Link to article:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ecoFLATS is reaching the roof!

topping off party coming next week!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ecoFLATS showcased in Daily Journal of Commerce article

Developer relies on human nature to hit net-zero goal

POSTED: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 05:05 PM PT
BY: Daniel Savickas / Daily Journal of Commerce 

Jean-Pierre Veillet's new Eco Flats building on North Avenue is designed to be the first mixed-use residential building in the nation to achieve a net-zero energy status. Whether the goal is met will depend on tenants monitoring how much energy to use. (Phtoo by Dan Carter/DJC)
Jean-Pierre Veillet's new Eco Flats building on North Williams Avenue is designed to be the first mixed-use residential building in the nation to achieve a net-zero energy status. Whether the goal is met will depend on tenants monitoring how much energy they use. (Photo by Dan Carter/DJC)

In 1994, Jean-Pierre Veillet, owner of Siteworks Design Build, reinvented the wheel when it came to how his company showed up at a job site. Instead of driving to work on four wheels, Veillet rolled up on his bicycle, pulling a trailer of tools and materials.

Now Veillet hopes to reinvent the way developers design mixed-use projects with his new 20,000-square-foot, mixed-use apartment building on North Williams Avenue. The project is aiming to reach a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-gold certification, but the main goal of the project, Veillet said, is to turn the building into a net-zero energy apartment building. He’s putting the success of his project in the hands of his future tenants.
The building, called Eco Flats, is designed for people who are more concerned with being energy-conscious than living in a building with amenities such as a swimming pool, Veillet said. But their level of being energy-conscious will essentially determine whether this project succeeds or fails in its bid to achieve a net-zero energy rating.

The building will contain a common hydronic heating system and a 3,000-square-foot solar array of photovoltaic and thermal collectors. The system, attached to the fourth floor of the building, will attempt to produce enough hot water and energy for the entire building. This means that each of the 18 apartments in Eco Flats will have to work together to achieve goals set each month so that the building can operate on its own without having to pull power from the energy grid.

Becky Walker, program manager for the Energy Trust of Oregon’s New Buildings program, said the Eco Flats building is one of 15 projects accepted into the Energy Trust’s Path to Net Zero pilot program, which aims to have projects achieve energy savings of up to 50 percent beyond Oregon’s building code. But it’s the only one that’s attempting to achieve a net-zero energy rating while offering a residential component, an approach Walker said is the first of its kind in the nation.

“You just don’t know how much energy the tenants are going to use until they are there,” Walker said. “But they are looking into designing some pretty creative ways to provide feedback to the tenants.”

The feedback, according to Veillet, will come in the form of monitors in both of the building’s entrances. The monitors will act as a virtual “big brother” for the tenants, showing everyone how much energy and water each apartment is using. Forget to shut off the bedroom light before leaving for the day? Someone is watching - or at the least, tracking the action.

The fact that someone, or possibly even everyone, in the building is watching will likely influence tenant behavior, according to Joe Rhinewine, a clinical psychologist and director at Portland Mindfulness. Eco Flats tenants might watch their energy use if they’re given data privately on their individual use. But if a tenant knows her information is being shared with her neighbors, that will probably have an even stronger effect, Rhinewine said. He likens the behavior to what happens to a driver traveling down a road where a digital reader board is tracking the speed of vehicles in the area. A driver may not think twice about how fast his vehicle is moving until the actual speed flashes up in big digital numbers. If the sign is being monitored by police, the driver becomes even more cautious, Rhinewine said.

Veillet isn’t going to rely solely on human nature to keep his building at net-zero energy, however. The building doesn’t have any associated parking for vehicles, a deliberate omission that Veillet thinks will result in attracting mainly bicycle-centric tenants who might take a certain amount of pride in leaving a small footprint on the planet. In addition, on months when tenants take steps that lead to the building hitting net-zero status, Veillet plans on giving tenants rewards, such as drink and food coupons redeemable at neighborhood restaurants.

Of the 18 apartments in the building, 12 are 600-square-foot, one-bedroom units while the rest are 750-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments. Veillet said the building will be ready for tenants to move in March 1, and although rents aren’t firm yet, he expects they will be about $900 per month to $1,400 per month.

The building will also feature two retail spaces on the street-level - an unnamed restaurant is considering one of the spaces, Veillet said - as well as secure bicycle parking, a bicycle maintenance room and communal showers. Community garden space and a courtyard are featured on site and connect with a space that Veillet said could feature an additional building with 12 apartments and two more retail spaces in the future.
“This is a prototype,” Veillet said. “If we do it well, we’ll do this many, many more times. Right now we’re just trying to understand what this population likes and wants in a building.”

Aurora State Airport, Oregon's third busiest airport, was recently awarded $4.3 million from the ConnectOregon III program to build a control tower at the airport.
Developer Jean-Pierre Veillet hopes the Eco Flats project will appeal to some of the 3,500 bicycle commuters who use North Williams Avenue daily. (Photo by Dan Carter/DJC)

Friday, August 13, 2010

ecoFLATS cruisin' along

Construction at ecoFLATS is cruising right along, with the second floor beginning to take shape. ecoFLATS is now taking inquiries on renting these fabulous, bike-centric, net-zero energy apartments which are scheduled to open in the spring of 2011. Please visit our website to learn more, and give us a call at 503.230.2337


Friday, July 9, 2010

Jean-Pierre gives testimony at Portland City Council on May 19th, 2010 concerning new SDC charges

On May 19th, 2010, Jean-Pierre gave testimony at the Portland City Council concerning new increases in System Development Charges:

"Dear Mayor Sam Adams,
Thanks to great ideas and great leadership, Portland is a city renowned for building green. That said, the higher costs and the larger permit fees required to produce mid-rise green buildings have required that most green projects be either government-sponsored or luxury housing. Our project, ecoFlats on North Williams, received a PDC loan due to its goal to shatter the belief that neighborhood-friendly green developments are cost prohibitive, and that net energy zero is too expensive. We have created a mid rise model that can be enjoyed by the many, and is highly reproducible. Therefore we are on the verge of creating a field of infill workforce housing that is low energy, green, and transportation oriented. Unfortunately, due to recent unexpected spikes in SDC fees, that hurt mid rise green development the most, the current threat of an 8% increase from BDS, and the inability for city agencies to produce a coherent remedy on how these fees ought to be handled, the future of green development is in jeopardy. The trail we are blazing along with other green motivated developers will scarcely be followed. 

In order to remedy the SDC increases, we looked into a City sponsored incentive offered to defer Transportation and Parks SDC fees as a solution. The result was not useful. The deferral program offered is actually a first position loan that no bank or even PDC can accept. The deferral program once entered is quickly boned and sold immediately. We have since paid interest on it even though our permits were not issued for another 3 months. Because the city has not produced a solution that can be used, another solution must be developed. Keep in mind, mid-rise structures already pay on an average of 12% in permit costs, and any City fee increase to this cost makes projects not viable. Put simply, the margins are already too thin, and what then are the benefits to investors?

When the 8% BDS fee increase arose, I was so in disbelief I thought that perhaps I was not seeing things correctly. The realization is that we the developers are the only ones to see things as they are. Now I have engaged with other green developers around the city, I have learned that they are having the same concerns over the fee increases, and I have gained their support in this letter, as you will see.

The truth is that we should be looking into the benefits of a decrease in City Fees. Currently System Development Charges are not properly valuing the green development that is in alignment with the city’s green goals. The current structure and additional increases are therefore self-defeating because, already SDC’s are hurting the very developments that put less pressure on the SDC Systems, and any further increases to development will disengage the developers who fund the agency. The new effort by the City to raise BDS fees on top of the high fees we are already paying will surely bring development to a stand still in Portland. To remedy this, what we’re asking for is the following Four things:

First: Vote down the 8% BDS permit fee increase, by doing so you have begun to spurn green development, create jobs and a greener future for Portland.

Second: Bureau of Environmental Services has to implement a conservancy based fee system that awards low water implementation in its SDC charge. Water conservancy has to be rewarded. Do this and it will happen on a larger scale.

Third: Parks fees need to be more fairly based on size of units rather then the current per unit charge. Currently we pay the same per unit for small footprint 600 sf units that one would pay for a 3,500 sf penthouse. (A big concern for mid rise development, infill workforce housing, energy efficient housing etc.,)

Fourth: The definition of “deferral” returns to what “deferral” really can mean—The SDC’s should be differed and paid when the buildings are put into use, at project completion.

Building green is obviously very important to climate change, energy conservation, and health and well-being. What’s more, in Portland green buildings are a source of regional pride. I have gathered the green development community of our city. These supporters have responded to the call from our leaders, that we need to do something better and greener. With the combined experience under our belts, we are experienced enough to know that developers are the only ones to see how all the different city agencies come into play, and that it is our combined opinion that our four requests have to be met to keep Portland Building Green infill structures.

In a climate where the market has shifted we the development community see how our efforts are key to creating the jobs that benefit the City and the State. The potential to pick up on the right foot and create new green construction jobs, green workplaces, and green living is here at this moment. With the City participation in our requests we can meet the goal of the greenest city for years to come. Our City’s and Our State’s Green developments soon could be able to include the everyone in its goals, and could continue to be recognized nation-wide."

Jean-Pierre Veillet

To watch the entire Portland City Council meeting on SDC fee increases, click here and choose item 667 on the menu.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Portia Roy awarded Siteworks Outstanding Artist Scholarship

Portia Roy has been bestowed with the 2010-2011 PNCA Siteworks Outstanding Artist Scholarship. Jean Pierre Veillet established the annual scholarship in 2007, which awards students attending the Pacific Northwest College of Art. "I want recipients of the Siteworks Scholarship to have a sense of acknowledgment for their work before they walk out the door on graduation night," he says. "And hopefully confidence, too. It's not enough these days to just have sheer talent." Below is a sample of Roy's work entitled "The Mannerisms of The Ruby Footed Krupa."  Congratulations to Portia!    

Monday, May 17, 2010

Asula Chiropractic and Wellness Center

We are currently in the design phase of Asula Chiropractic and Wellness Center's new office, which will be located in the Ziba building (designed by Holst Architecture) on NW 9th and Marshall . Here are a few study images of the current project, enjoy! 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

N Williams/N Vancouver Streetscape

Calling all helmetheads - tired of risking your life in the grisly automobile lane in order to pass someone on your way home from work?  We know what you're thinking - the N Williams/N Vancouver corridor has the potential to be one of the coolest bike commuter stretches in Portland.  We think so too!  Heck, we could set a precedent that cities across the nation will follow.

Did you know that over 3,000 commuters ride the N Williams/N Vancouver corridor daily?

Did you know that the City's Department of Transportation thinks an accident involving a cyclist here is imminent?  

Did you know studies are being done to look into widening the bike lane on N Williams?  That there has even been talk of de-coupling the two one-way streets?

What do you think? 

We've come up with a few ideas, but we need your input and support!

Please, make a comment on this post and let us know your thoughts!  (And let us know if you live in the neighborhood!)

Monday, April 5, 2010


Siteworks Design|Build would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to those who contributed time, art, foodstuff, and energy to the Hands on for Haiti benefit on April 1st, 2010.  With your help we raised over $15,000 for Mercy Corps!  It takes only 20 cents a day to feed a person in Haiti, meaning we raised enough to feed over 75,000 people!  Great job! We would not have been able to do it without you.  Thank you again for your generosity.  

As you can see from our pictures...a good time was had by all! 

toward the start of the evening

storm large, the evening's emcee

happy people

lively drummers

cool dude

 happy dude


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


eco FLATS is a mixed-use retail and housing development that will serve as a new model for sustainability and affordability in urban living.  eco FLATS is a partnership co-owned by Jean Pierre Veillet and Doug Shapiro, with architectural design generously provided by the supremely creative folks of works partnership architecture.

Press is rolling in for this hyper-ecologically-minded new mixed-use development on North Williams Avenue:

GreenLandLady Elizabeth Madrigal's Article February 23, 2010
Urban Works Real Estate blog January 10, 2010 
Daily Journal of Commerce Article June 3, 2009
Portland Architecture Review December 11, 2009.
Oregonian Article January 28, 2010


3.10.2010 Keetsa Mattresses at the Luxurious New James Hotel in Soho!!
According to the Luxury Travel Advisor blog, Keetsa will be outfitting the new James Hotel with their mattresses!  This marks the first time Keetsa has ever supplied a hotel with their product.  Congratulations Keetsa, may this be the first in a long line of hotel partnerships!

Interested in reading more?  Read the blog here.

3.4.2010 Press
DesignMilk has posted a blog about the Keetsa store!  See it here

Mike Thelin of Portland Monthly writes about pop-up stores here

2.4.2010 Finished!
welcome to the neighborhood!


reclaimed headboards

repurposed steel pipe frames

nathan and amy install the cash wrap logo

tea area

curtains, genius bars, and tea area

from the front door

the nest

almost finished!

nick at the genius bar

tea table

the tea table is almost done!

the nest gets its first visitor

nest detail

bright idea

 logo mock-up

eco-felt peers through the grass

 eco-felt table legs

nathan works on the genius bar

 buttons we made out of sticks


cable wheel


open up

mr. wood


jp works on the nest

the chair bases come together

headboards of reclaimed wood 

taking care of business in the nest...

thinking green


Keetsa comes to SoHo!

An environmentally friendly mattress company, Keetsa contacted Siteworks after seeing Jean Pierre's work at the pop-up store nau in SoHo.  They liked the way he repurposed found materials into sculptural and functional pieces of art.  In fact, Keetsa is going into the same location where nau's pop-up store was located.  How's that for re-use?

In addition to our blog, feel free to view Keetsa's blog, which will be updated throughout the process of opening their showroom in NYC.

When Jean Pierre began the nau store, he was met with a blank canvas.  He scoured the City's waste stream in search of materials to re-purpose, materials that were already local and begging to be used.  The idea was that the materials JP brought into the store would be re-purposed yet again by the next tenant of the space. 

Now, with Keetsa, we are met not with a blank canvas, but a space ripe with materials for re-use.  Siteworks' design|build process reflects an acutely sustainable outlook.  Minimize the amount of new materials brought into the space; minimize waste; maximize the use of existing materials; and with these existing materials, creatively transform what was one brand identity into a completely different brand.

We are shifting from a culture which creates excessive waste to one which uses what may have previously been considered waste to a purposeful and creative end. 

For example,

clothing rack at nau

mattress display frames at keetsa

In order to accommodate keetsa's program, we needed to modify the display area.  There's always a little bit of demo...but why would we send this material to the dump when we can use it? 

i think we found our chair bases!

perfectly useful leather chairs JP found in the waste stream!

This project constitutes an exploration and experiment in retail design.

Can we design a store that many different brands can use, with a kit of parts that would come with the space, therefore extending the life cycle of the materials?  What is common?  What is needed?  What are the basic elements of a store that can always remain?  What makes a store brand specific and its own?  What makes design great?

From JP, "I would like to make a store that as a working example of this concept would be open for one year.  In that year I would have 12 different Brands in the store.  It would be less about selling things at that point but to see if we could create a store with a kit of parts and place well known brands into it with a small and subtle amount of new materials each time, while convincingly creating that brand each time in that space.    Thus making a model of a changeable environment that once created has a much longer life cycle and reduces our consumer waste enormously."

construction tape = art

We're embracing the idea of transformation.  The idea that the life of a thing does not end permanently, it takes on new form; old becomes new.  Stay tuned to watch nau become keetsa!