Just look at the before and after photos of this green home and you'll see a couple critical renovation strategies: (1) get rid of water-sucking grass without making your landscaping look crazy, and (2) keep the same size and scale of your home rather than building it into a monstrosity.  This home, located at 8020 S.W. Elmwood Street in Southwest Portland, is expected to receive the rare designation of LEED Platinum certification and is now listed for sale at $850,000.  Here are some of its green elements:


  • Tight envelope with spray foam insulation;
  • Replaced windows with Pella fiberglass windows;
  • Installed an indoor air exchange system (due to tight envelope);
  • Installed a closed-loop, ground-source heat pump;
  • Installed a 3 kW, grid-tied solar photovoltaic system;
  • Used leftover porcelain, reclaimed wood, and scraps for mantle;
  • Used FSC woods, including in the kitchen;
  • Installed Energy Star appliances; and
  • Installed water-efficient landscaping and a rain garden. 

In addition, according to the Daily Journal of Commerce, 99% of construction waste was recycled.  All in all, this is a fantastic green home renovation, which will most certainly become fodder for the masses to get going with their own homes.  The home's green design is by Paolo Design Group; construction by Green Hammer Construction; and landscaping by DeSantis Landscapes.

Living-room-before Living-room-after





Photo credits: Paolo Design Group