Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East received the 2017 Green Home Builder of the Year, Low Income Builder award from Earth Advantage! This award speaks volumes to the hard work and determination our construction team and volunteers put into building quality homes for our Habitat homeowners. Constructing a Platinum level, energy-efficient home requires our team to spend time diligently installing air sealing, weather barriers, HVAC systems, and windows to not only provide a green home but also one that will last.
How and Why Do We Build Green?
It takes a great deal of preparation and training to be able to build green, energy efficient homes at the Platinum level. The Platinum standard is based on scoring points in five categories — energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality, resource efficiency, environmental responsibility, and water conservation – earned over the course of two verification visits.
- Certified homes offer a healthier living environment. To promote health, Habitat for Humanity uses more sustainable materials and finishes that do not off-gas harmful fumes. They ensure that air is filtered before entering the home, that all gas combustion systems are sealed, and that the home is properly ventilated to expel any remaining harmful pollutants.
- Certified homes protect against the health risks associated with excessive moisture. Techniques such as moisture barriers combined with rainscreens reduce the risk of organisms supported by moisture and rot, including molds, fungi and pests.
- Air sealing the house promotes health by helping to prevent airborne allergens and industrial particles from coming in. Ventilation also improves the quality of air in the home and helps reduce spot moisture problems.
- Certified homes use a variety of features and techniques to save 20% more energy than a home built to code(on average). Here are some of the energy saving measures that are included on all certified homes to help eliminate drafts and cold/hot spots, adding up to substantial savings on utility costs:
- Effective insulation systems
- High–performance windows
- Tight construction and sealed ducts
- Energy Efficient heating equipment
- ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances.
To Our Volunteers
All of this wouldn’t be possible without the dedications of our volunteers. Rain or shine, they have put in tremendous amounts of work. The spirit and enthusiasm they bring to the build-site is second-to-none. We want to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s joined us in helping Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.
“A big shout out to our volunteers that help us build green, energy efficient homes. Thank you for coming out and swinging hammers, caulking gaps and pushing paintbrushes. We appreciate all your hard work. We couldn’t have done it without you!”
– Josh Philippi, Vice President of Construction