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Sustainable Building

Making a sustainable home doesn’t just mean going green – it means creating homes with lasting value that contribute to the productive growth and positive health of the communities in which we live. Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East has a commitment to sustainable building and continuously looks for ways to make homes affordable to live in and affordable to buy.

Energy & Atmosphere

Habitat homes are visitable and built on R10 insulated concrete slabs with Radon venting.
We construct 2 x 8 exterior walls to the advanced framing standard, insulated to R30.
We install energy efficient windows that meet Energy Star Standards.
Raised heel trusses accommodate 16” of insulation, which is R49 for the attic insulation.
We target 3ACH@50PA for minimizing air infiltration. The Energy Star Standard is 4ACH or less. We achieve this result with attention to detail and very little cost.
Each home comes equipped with an energy recovery ventilator to insure quality indoor air.
Exhaust fans vent to the exterior and meet Energy Star standards for air flow and noise.
A minimum of 60% of the hard wired fixtures shall be Energy Star qualified.

Environmentally Preferred Products

When financially feasible, we use FSC certified wood products.
Preference is given to products originating within 500 miles of the construction site.
Paints used by Habitat are certified to have low emissions of volatile organic compounds.
Finished floor surfaces are of hard materials. We do not use carpet. We have used tile, vinyl, linoleum and laminate flooring in projects.
All interior stairs have hardwood treads. (The pull-down stair to the attic excepted.)

Water & Space Heating

The heating and hot water are combined into an integrated system.
Hydronic heat is delivered to radiator units to heat the home.
The same water heater also supplies hot water for domestic use.
In an all-electric home, a hot water heat pump provides the hot water.
Either a gas-fired tankless or a standing high efficiency gas water heater may be used.
Water heaters are located in the attic outside the thermal envelope.
Hot water supply lines are kept short and insulated to a minimum of R4.
Low flow faucets are installed meeting the Energy Star standards.

Energy Star

The Energy Star program offers solutions for cost effectively increasing home energy efficiency. These solutions reduce energy costs and save money by making homes more affordable, sustainable, and livable for lower-income families while helping the environment. Every Energy Star home is designed to provide its residents with comfort and quality while maintaining our standards for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, environmental responsibility and resource efficiency. For more information, please visit

LEED Certified Homes

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED promotes design and construction practices that increase building performance, while reducing the negative impacts of building on the environment.

In March 2009, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East completed the first LEED-certified Habitat homes in Oregon proving that building green can be affordable. Located on NE Webster, the two Platinum-rated homes include environmentally and energy efficient uses of the location, housing design and construction. These role-model buildings were dedicated to the Clark and Alemayoh families and are one of 20 national finalists of the EnergyValue Housing Award from the National Association of Home Builders.

In October 2012, construction was completed on two LEED certified homes on North Michigan Avenue, near the heart of the vibrant cultural area of North Mississippi Avenue.

The home built in collaboration with Neil Kelly for the Htoo/Gay/Ni family during the 2014 Home Builders Blitz achieved a LEED Platinum certification.