With a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, Renaissance Homes is the largest local builder building 100% green. Our belief in creating the most environmentally friendly homes ensures your home to be high performance and energy efficient. All Renaissance Homes are LEED® certified in the city of Portland and offer many Energy Star® rated products. This means they have been designed to be more comfortable for you and better for the environment. By using earth friendly materials and practices, Renaissance Homes will ensure sustainability for you and your family. All LEED® homes include sustainable features that promote high energy efficiency, healthier indoor air, resource efficiency and environmental responsibility.
Indoor Air Quality
The air inside your home makes a difference in how you feel every day, and indoor air quality is a high priority in the construction of a Renaissance home. With features like air filtration systems, controlled ventilation and low-toxic building materials, a Renaissance Home may allow you to breathe a little easier.
At minimum, a LEED® certified Renaissance Home is designed to improve energy efficiency by 15% over a conventionally built home. The incorporation of products such as energy-efficient windows, appliances, mechanical systems and light fixtures can add up to lower energy usage and greater comfort year round. Year after year, Living Green saves significant money on energy bills, is friendlier to the environment and gives you peace of mind.
Highly efficient appliances save energy and conserve our region’s resources. Many items can be made with a high-recycled content, ceramic tile, paint and insulation. Composite engineered wood products are used whenever possible – such as floor joists. Fiber-cement siding dramatically reduces demand on forest products and it performs better over the long-term.
The same building materials in a Renaissance Home that improve indoor air quality also contribute to a cleaner environment, as less toxic products reduce environmental pollutants. Our homes also employ site measures that minimize environmental impact such as recycling job site debris, preserving topsoil and trees and using native plants in the landscaping.
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, (LEED), is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is intended to provide builders a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Since early 2003, Renaissance Homes has built all of their homes in the Portland metro and Vancouver/ Clark County areas with an exterior cladding system that is known as Rain Screen. Renaissance realizes that the average consumer may not be aware of these new and innovative building practices. Therefore, we offer the following description of the Rain Screen system.
Wet conditions are part of our climate here in the Northwest. Renaissance Rain Screen is a moisture management system designed to address and protect against the causes of water intrusion and the resulting damage that it can cause to a home.
Moisture in many forms is prevalent in our Northwest climate. Over the years, builders in this region have come to expect those leaks as a “cost of doing business”. The typical construction method for most area builders has the exterior cladding system fastened firmly to the homes plywood or oriented strand board sheathing, which in turn, is attached directly to the homes studs. When a leak or water penetration occurs with this type of construction, the water is literally forced through the wall and can spread in many different locations by a principal known as capillary action. The Rain Screen system addresses this problem.
While there are different types of Rain Screen and many options used to meet the Oregon Code Requirement of a gap behind siding systems in residential construction, Oregon Building Codes Division acknowledges that a Pressure-Equalized Rain Screen (PER) system is best practice in fulfilling this requirement. State requirements of a drainage gap began with the 2008 Specialty Code. However, Renaissance Homes Pressure-Equalized Rain Screen was designed by industry leaders and has been in use since early 2003. Many quality homebuilders endeavor to follow in our footsteps due the Rain Screen’s proven superiority over conventional siding systems. Please note that Renaissance Homes Rain Screen System has been specifically engineered to supersede local building codes and traditional siding instillation recommendations.
The ‘Renaissance Homes Rain Screen System’ has been engineered by a licensed building envelope engineering firm for the exclusive use of Renaissance Homes. This proprietary building envelope engineering supersedes local building code requirements.
Here are a few resources to describe Rain Screen technology and specifically the Pressure-Equalized Rain Screen System:
Renaissance Homes sets the bar with superior construction techniques.
Disclaimer: The information on the system presented herein is provided for informational purposes only. Renaissance Homes does not provide warranty, either expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of information listed in the above external links.
Energy Performance Score, EPS
Energy efficiency, utility costs and environmental impact are important factors to consider when buying or building a home. The EPS now gives homebuyers a way to comparison shop between homes based on these factors. It also gives homebuyers a sense of how many energy upgrades were made to the house beyond what Oregon energy code requires, and how the home compares to an average home built in Oregon. More information is available at Energy Trust of Oregon.
Polar Blanket Insulation
Fiberglass Blown-in Insulation Systems (also known as the Polar Blanket) is the latest green building technique used by Renaissance Homes. This system improves a home’s efficiency by filling the wall cavity completely, including the areas around pipes, cables and outlets. Polar Blanket gets into all the voids where traditional insulation can’t protect, creating a “blanket” of insulation and making a more energy efficient home. The Polar Blanket decreases air going through the wall cavity as it is applied as a dense pack application. The R-Value of polar Blanket is 23 and significantly helps reduce monthly utility costs by reducing air infiltration through the cavity walls.
Open Web Floor Trusses
Open web truss joists allows for easier and faster mechanical systems installation (plumbing, electrical, HVAC). Mechanical systems are installed within the floor’s framing rather than hanging below. All the heat ducts run between the floors. This eliminates ducting in the attic or crawlspace and saves energy by NOT pushing heated air into a cold crawl space in the winter or sending cool air into a hot attic in the summer. The joists allow the heat ducts to be shorter and much more efficient. Any heat or cooling lost in the ductwork remains in the livable space. Plumbing lines run straighter and shorter allowing less pipe to be installed resulting in hot water savings. Energy experts estimate that open web floor trusses can save significantly, up to 16%, on your monthly heating and cooling bills.
Renaissance Homes was featured in an HVAC case study regarding open web ducts. Read the study.