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