Green Features

Here is a quick summary of the "green" features of the Ramona.

Insulation and Air Tightness

This is the place to start for energy-efficiency. The Ramona has well-insulated walls and roof, high-quality casement windows, and a very tight air-barrier. Taken together, these measures reduce heat loss and unwanted drafts, lowering the amount of energy needed to heat your apartment.

Energy-Efficient Equipment and Fixtures

We used energy-efficient elevators, light fixtures, heating and cooling equipment, hot water heaters, fan motors, refrigerators, dishwashers, and much more. We installed control systems to automatically turn off equipment when it isn’t needed. And we installed a heat-recovery system to capture outgoing heat from the exhaust fans and use it to pre-heat incoming air.

Renewable Energy

After taking measures to reduce the amount of energy the building needs, we tried to produce as much of that energy as we can from renewable sources.

  • Solar Hot Water – 64 panels on the roof produce almost 50% of the hot water.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Panels – A 30 kWh array of PV panels that produces enough electricity to run the elevators and most of the hallway lights.

Air-Quality and Ventilation Systems

To provide good indoor air qualiy, we selected materials with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). But we can’t eliminate them entirely and there’s a good chance you’ll have furniture or electronic equipment that will off-gas VOCs. So we also installed a system to exhaust air from the bathrooms and kitchens and replace it with fresh outside air (heated in the winter and cooled in the summer) that is ducted directly into your apartment.

Water Efficiency

As surprising as it might seem during Portland's winters, water is a limited natural resource. And once we use water, a lot of it goes into the sewer system and eventually into our rivers. At the Ramona, we have tried to reduce water use by installing low-flow showerheads and aerators, low-flush toilets, water-efficient dishwashers, front-loading washing machines, drip irrigation systems, and much more.

Stormwater Strategies

Years ago, most pollution in our rivers came from industrial users. Today, most of it comes from run-off from agriculture and from impervious urban surfaces. At the Ramona, we do our part to minimize that in several ways:

  • Eco-roof – The roof of the Ramona is covered with soil and plants. The roof helps to absorb stormwater and filters the runoff that does go to the storm water sewers.
  • Courtyard filtration – The courtyard has planters and layers of soil and gravel that are designed to retain, absorb, and filter stormwater
  • Infiltration swale – We constructed an infiltration swale in NW Quimby. The swale captures stormwater from about ½ of the street and then uses plants and soil to filter it.