NewsletterSustainable Solutions

Oregon Community Reduces Planet-Warming Pollution by Building Energy Efficiently

For centuries, people have known how to construct homes that are both comfortable and energy-efficient. Traditional techniques, like thick walls and high ceilings in hot climates, naturally keep rooms cool. Now, as climate change prompts greater concern about energy consumption, a tribal community in Oregon is pioneering the construction of super energy-efficient homes. Monica Samayoa of Oregon Public Broadcasting interviewed one homeowner to learn more.

According to WUNC,

SAMAYOA: There are 24 townhomes like Selwyn’s – all part of what’s called the Creekside Elder Housing development. These townhomes are for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde’s elders who live about an hour and a half southwest of Portland.

SELWYN: This is huge. I love it.

SAMAYOA: Selwyn is 80 years old. She’s lived in a Grand Ronde community for 17 years. Her new home is designed to be highly energy efficient. She has all-electric appliances, solar panels, battery storage, a heat pump and an electric vehicle charger. But it’s the sun tunnels she likes best that bring natural light through the ceiling to brighten hallways.

SELWYN: I never knew that – how much light there was going to be. I love that.

SAMAYOA: The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde worked with a nonprofit, Energy Trust of Oregon, to put energy-saving technologies into each home in the development. The goal is to help reduce emissions that contribute to human-caused climate change.

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