I have to say, sometimes I feel like I am living a Portlandia episode when I talk about the materials in our projects. The Phoenix Passive House is no exception!
The horizontal lap siding we chose is style number WC-115, the same siding that you will see covering much of the older neighborhoods in Portland, especially on larger homes. It's popularity lasted a while in the city, but was replaced with wider siding for ease of installation and lower costs I assume. We installed it without corner boards to help it have a more contemporary look that makes the north side of the home feel more like a uniform object that contrasts with it's rough-sawn cedar half.
That cedar half by the way, is all FSC certified, Oregon grown cedar. It was milled by Kasters Kustom Cutting in Mulino, OR and molded by Trillium Pacific in Hubbard. Everyone was worried about the 20' long 1x2's but we had no problems with them at all. The wood is solid, and will naturally change color over time to a lovely silvery-grey.
You have two choices with wood; you can fight it or you can accept it. We think that whenever possible you should accept the beauty of wood for what it is. Some of the siding on the Phoenix is stained white (stains allow the wood to breath, where paints get in the way) because we loved the contrast of white on wood and it lets us really focus on the special qualities of the wood we left bare as well as the special architectural moves we planned.