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 ranging from u-0.28 down to u-0.20, some of them triple glazed, above the Energy Star Standards code.
  • Raised heel trusses accommodate 20” of insulation, which makes the home more efficient when heating. 
  • 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 carpet and hard materials. We have used tile, vinyl and laminate flooring in homes. 

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 


Energy Star

Habitat for Humanity Portland Region is proud to be an ENERGY STAR Builder Partner and to offer ENERGY STAR® certified condominiums. The ENERGY STAR label means that units have been designed to save energy and are built to higher standards than other apartments or condos on the market today. For you, this means lower utility bills and a home that is more comfortable throughout the year. The ENERGY STAR label gives you the peace of mind that your home has undergone a thorough process of inspections, testing, and verification to ensure that it meets strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Learn more about ENERGY STAR certified apartments and condominiums at www.energystar.gov/certifiedapartments.