The Earth Advantage Institute has transformed itself from a utility-based energy conservation program to a fully encompassed sustainability program. The non-profit Institute has certified more than 11,000 green homes in the Northwest.
Earth Advantage works with builders and developers, like those that built this sustainable home in Portland, Ore., to bring the most energy efficient, sustainable and healthy homes to the market.
An Earth Advantage home -- like this in Bend, Ore., built by Duey Brothers Construction -- is designed to provide comfort and quality while maintaining standards for energy efficiency, indoor air quality and overall environmental responsibility.
An Earth Advantage home is designed to improve energy efficiency by at least 15 percent over a conventional home. Energy-efficient windows, appliances, mechanical systems and light fixtures add up to lower energy usage and utility costs.
Indoor air quality is a high priority for Earth Advantage homes, even for this "floating home" in the Portland area. Many certfied homes have options like air filtration systems, controlled ventilation and low-toxic building materials.
The same building materials in an Earth Advantage home, like this one built by Intex Homes,that improve indoor air quality also contribute to a cleaner environment, as less toxic products reduce atmospheric pollutants.
Aside from the solar features at this home, Earth Advantage homes may also employ site measures that minimize environmental impact such as recycling job site waste, preserving topsoil and trees, and adding native plants to the landscape.
Being certified as Earth Advantage involves the homeowner and builder to work with a team of specialists to ensure that the highest standards of energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource efficiency and environmental responsibility are met.