How builders can save Oregon’s climate

According to a recent study cited by the Daily Journal of Commerce, Oregon is not on track to reach its goal of 30% greenhouse gas reduction by 2020.

portland green building aduGiven that buildings consume 47% of U.S. energy, maybe builders can help!  Here’s how:

  1. Advocate for mandatory EPS score.  A mandatory Energy Performance Score in all Oregon home listings would inform buyer’s decisions and more adequately value high performing homes.
  2. Support increased energy performance requirements in building code.  A good first step?  The adoption of the Passive House Building Energy Standard in Oregon’s Reach Code.
  3. Retrofit existing homes.  By increasing the home performance of our building stock, we capture the “lowest hanging fruit”.
  4. Build smaller.  Accessory Dwelling Units and smaller homes consume much less than their plumper counterparts.
  5. Remodel.  We can upcycle existing homes and preserve their embodied energy.
  6. Build Passive Houses.  Passive House construction achieves huge energy performance gains through superinsulation, airtight construction and energy recovering ventilation.
  7. Consider context.  Embed our housing within walkable, bikeable and transit-friendly neighborhoods.  Remodels, ADUs and infill housing really excel here.

Multifaceted problems like greenhouse gas emissions can feel daunting, no question.  But such problems also, by definition, respond to diverse solutions.  That means that as green builders and green dwellers, there’s lots that we can do to make a significant impact.


P.S.  Here’s the DJC’s article, “Oregon failing to meet emissions goals”, by Nathalie Weinstein.

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