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.

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Habitat for Humanity Portland Region has a commitment to sustainable building and continuously looks for ways to make homes affordable to live in and affordable to buy. Durability reduces long term maintenance costs keeping the homes more affordable for a longer amount of time. 


Earth Advantage 

We work with our partners at Earth Advantage, a regional green building certifier that goes beyond energy performance to include energy health, land, materials, and water. All certified homes comply with prerequisites that assure construction best practices are implemented.


Energy & Atmosphere 

  • Habitat homes are visitable and built on R15 insulated concrete slabs with Radon venting. 
  • We construct 2 x 6 exterior walls to the advanced framing standard, insulated to R23 to R30  
  • We install energy efficient windows R23 to R28, some of them triple glazed, above the Energy Star Standards code.
  • Raised heel trusses accommodate 20” of insulation, which is R60 for the attic insulation. 
  • We target 2ACH to 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 (ERV) or (HRV) heat recovery ventilator to ensure 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 are 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 have used tile, vinyl and laminate flooring in projects. 

Water & Space Heating 

  • In some electrical homes, an electric heat pump water heater provides the hot water. Some homes have natural gas and use tankless water heaters  
  • Low flow faucets and low flow toilets are installed meeting the Water Sense standards
  • Some homes are under Energy Star Certification / Indoor Air Plus