Green buildings are designed and built in such a way that they have a reduced impact on the environment.
- Energy efficiency - Buildings and homes use as little energy as possible, relying on renewable energy when feasible.
- Resource efficiency - Renewable and recycled resources are used for construction materials. Landscaping and constructive use of natural light conserves resources. Water conservation products and practices are incorporated.
- High indoor air quality - Ventilation systems, less toxic building materials, and low VOC emission furnishings and finishes contribute to a healthier indoor environment.
Several local builders use green building techniques such as air sealing, advanced framing methods, exterior foam sheeting, ductless heat pumps, and mono forms for building foundations.
Energy savings tips and information
- Department of Energy - Energy-Saving Tips
- Department of Energy - Energy Kids
- The Home Star Program - Proposed national incentives for residential efficiency retrofits would address America's urgent need for job creation in the troubled construction and manufacturing sectors.
- Washington State University - Energy Code Resources
Local utilities energy savings incentives
Reuse and recycling
- Construction and demolition debris - Clark County Toolkit
- Southwest Washington International Code Council
- International Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
- National Association of Home Builders Green Building program
- Department of Energy Builders Challenge
- Energy Trust of Oregon Trade Ally - Become a trade ally, benefits include equipment and training discounts.
Energy efficiency education
If you would like a home energy efficiency presentation for your organization or the Energy Detectives training program at your school, contact Mike Selig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 564.397.2375 ext. 4540.
We visit neighborhood associations, Ft. Vancouver regional library, and other public and private groups to educate citizens on cost effective ways to safely save energy. Not only can homeowners save money by reducing their utility bills, they can often improve the indoor air quality and comfort of their homes.
We partner with the Clark County Building Safety program to develop and provide classes on the new Washington State Energy Code for heating ventilating contractors, insulators, and builders. Complying with the new energy code delivers a house that will save the new homeowner money on energy.
Clark County kids can learn about what energy is, how we use it in our homes, and what we can do to save energy. Our Energy Detectives program includes a colorful and informative presentation, fun quizzes, and prizes for the participants.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally in decaying rock. Clark County has been designated as a high radon potential zone, but that does not mean that you have radon in your home. One house can test safe and the house next door can test high due to the structure of the rock formations in the ground below each house.
Since 2006 new homes and additions have been required to have a passive radon vent installed. Houses built before that date most likely have no radon vents. In the effort to tighten homes to save energy this may cause radon to be trapped inside. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Testing is the only way to find out if your home contains radon. To find a test kit, contact your local hardware store, home improvement center, or go online. You can also contact a radon mitigation company in your area to test and advise you about radon levels in your home.
To learn more, visit EPA’s web sites:
Visit Planet Clark
Planet Clark is an outreach and education partnership group consisting of public and private organizations and businesses. The main partners are Community Development's Building Safety and Energy Efficiency programs and the Department of Environmental Services.
Besides visiting schools and community groups, Energy Efficiency Services travels around the county in the Planet Clark trailer. The trailer has displays that feature:
- Green building
- Energy efficient lighting
- Indoor air quality
- Safe building methods
- Storm water management