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2021 Homes of Tomorrow Today Tour: Reduce utility bills with rebates, remodeling ideas, and more!

2021 Homes of Tomorrow Today Tour: Reduce utility bills with rebates, remodeling ideas, and more!

The future home may be difficult to envision, but one thing is certain: It will be energy efficient.

In many ways, the future has already arrived, as evidenced by improved smart thermostats, solar panels, and electric car charging stations. Cost-saving heat pumps ensure that the temperature of the whole house remains consistent all year round. Kitchens are equipped with an induction cooktop and the cook top is inducted, ensuring that all areas of your house remain warm all the time.

Rachel Trice of the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland (HBA) stated, "Portland area builders have been leading the national effort to create high-performance, sustainable homes that offer easy livability and low utility costs."

Remodelers who want to reduce home costs while also protecting the planet arent retrofitting existing buildings; they are making them future fitted.

People interested in learning more about energy-saving building methods and materials may visit eight exemplar dwellings in the Portland area during the Homes of Tomorrow Today Tour Friday through Sunday, Oct. 15-17.

The HBA event, which is jointly hosted by Portland General Electric (PGE) and Energy Trust of Oregonlets ticket holders ($25), is a discussion between builders and suppliers about how to upgrade s/he home, from replacing an inefficient water heater to installing alternative energy sources that can be used during power outages.

A sealed building envelope with controlled ventilation keeps smoke and other pollutants out, reduces allergens and the risk of mold, and prevents heated and cool air from escaping.

A double-paned window and extra insulation in the attic, walls, and floors prevents outside noise.

These processes, which use sustainable building materials and finishes that create less waste, are more efficient than the recently revised requirements of the Oregon building code some of which are among the most stringent in the nation, said Trice.

Theres been a lot of progress in the last ten years, she added. There are a slew of rebates, product discounts, and incentives. [Going green] is not as expensive as youd imagine.)

The eight new homes on the self-paced, selfdriving tour range from converted cargo-container structures by Relevant Buildings in Oregon City to single-family residences from Happy Valley to Hillsboro.

Each home has an energy performance score (EPS) issued by Energy Trust of Oregon for each home. Mike Frey of Noyes Development Co. stated, "These companies produce as much energy as they consume each year."

Visitors will be able to tour Noyes Developments homes in Creekview Ridge, a 65-home community off Northwest Laidlaw Road, and the Highlands at North Bethany, an 155-house community on Northwest 167th Ave.

The new structures, which are designed to be extremely comfortable and last for 100 years, have been awarded platinum status from Earth Advantage, a Portland-based nonprofit that promotes sustainable, high-quality construction.

The Energy Star-certified homes also meet stringent energy performance requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The dwellings produce less greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings.

Not all homes are created equal, Frey, who chairs the HBAs Home Performance Council, said, It is important that people have opportunities to be more informed about their single biggest investment in life and the place where they spend so much of their time.

He stated he hopes more people can make effective, sustainable choices when considering a home purchase, remodel, or equipment upgrade.

High-performance homes built with high-quality craftsmanship are a method of building for... putting together and significantly reducing carbon footprints, he added.

A 2,067-square-foot home designed and constructed by Ichijo USA on the tour is expected to have zero energy costs based on its energy performance score (EPS).

The well-insulated dwelling in the Happy Valley neighborhood of Pleasant Valley Villages has i-cube panelized construction invented by Ichijo USA, which combines weather barriers and rain screens to create net-zero, energy-ready homes in Oregon and Washington.

The business uses Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood from responsibly managed forests as well as energy smart lighting, fireplaces, refrigerators and dishwashers as standard.

During the Homes of Tomorrow Today Tour, vendors such as Marvin windows and Pyramid Heating + Cooling of Portland will be available to answer questions.

Also on display during the tour are electric lawn mowers and leaf blowers with zero emission that can replace gas lawn equipment.

Tickets to the Homes of Tomorrow Today Tour are only available online at homesoftomorrowpdx.com/p/tickets. Between Friday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, October 17, one person may purchase one $25 individual ticket for one entry into all of the homes.

Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072 | 503-394-4142

@jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman @janetwestman

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