Green Building

Hacienda-built developments incorporate innovative green building and energy-efficient designs not traditionally found in affordable rental housing. Hacienda is committed to green building because it is better for our residents, the environment and it makes economic sense. Green building incorporates renewable energy, sustainable materials and energy-saving technology, reducing operation and maintenance costs and lower residents’ utility bills.

Over the course of eight projects, the first starting in 1996, Hacienda has brought over 380 units of affordable family housing to the Portland area. With each succeeding project, Hacienda’s commitment to sustainable community development and green construction practices has grown. Beginning simply with the installation of energy efficient light fixtures and water saving plumbing fixtures, Hacienda’s projects now regularly include storm water treatment and retention, highly efficient water resource radiant heating systems, extensive use of highly recycled content and low emissions building materials, extra consideration of passive ventilation and natural day lighting, community gardens, and other sustainable features.

Where city living for families once meant isolation and children playing in parking lots, our developments emphasize people over cars, community over expediency and social support over walled defense. Courtyards, playgrounds and community buildings form the focal point for site design. Automobiles are kept at the edge of the site, with pedestrian paths providing primary access. Apartment windows look onto public spaces, allowing parents to monitor children and neighbors to provide security for each other. Our sites are connected to high frequency bus routes and public sidewalks. Courtyards and pedestrian oriented design creates an opportunity for spontaneous interaction and casual meetings among neighbors.

From a social perspective, green building strategies help to reconnect people to nature, to the cycles of day and seasons, and to their built and social environment. However studies show that people with low incomes are less likely to be concerned with these aspects than they are about what their monthly expenses will be. This is where green building and affordable housing form a harmonious partnering. Energy conservation tactics result in less energy usage – which preserves the natural environment’s habitat, air and resources – but it also means buying less energy from utilities, which produces much needed savings in utility costs for our families.

A few highlights from our housing sites:

Miraflores – An open loop ground source heat-pump reduces tenant heating and cooling cost up to 75%.

  • Enterprise Green Community
  • Energy Trust – Energy Star rated Multi-family Homes

Clara Vista Townhomes – Solar panels preheat hot water for gas water heaters and serve the potable hot water demand and the hot water for the hydraulic heating system.

  • LEED Silver – 1st multi-family affordable project in the nation to earn this rating
  • Enterprise Green Community