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Phone: 503-208-4663
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Portland New HomesMiranda Homes is taking the time and hassle out of building a home. We can use your custom plans or ours to build you a long lasting, low maintenance, energy efficient dream home. Start packing now because with a build time of just 60 days from ground breaking, you'll be moving in before you know it.
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New Homes in Portland Floor Plans

Your Plan or Ours - It's Up to You

Portland green builders

In addition to the homes on the following pages, we can re-engineer your custom home plans. We will include all of our methods and materials and upgrade your plans to build you an energy efficient, long-lasting, low maintenance, Miranda Home.

Whether a custom home or one of our plans, your Miranda Home will feature:

• Insulated concrete foundation and Miranda Earth Slab to eliminate insects and rodents
• Mechanically vented crawl space for added energy efficiency and comfort
• Steel frame construction for resistance against insects, rodents, mold and rot
• Spray-in foam insulation for energy savings and comfort
• Engineered and panelized construction for shorter build times and higher quality

 

 

 

The Harbor View

Square Footage: 1,569
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2
Stories: 1
Width: 40'
Depth: 52'

 

 

The Grand Harbor View

Square Footage: 1,645
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2
Stories: 1
Width: 47'
Depth: 52'

 

 

The Forest View

Square Footage: 1,943
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2.5
Stories: 2
Width: 40'
Depth: 52'

 

 

The Country View

Square Footage: 2,350
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2.5
Stories: 2
Width: 40'
Depth: 45'

 

 

The Mountain View

Square Footage: 2,397
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 2.5
Stories: 2
Width: 40'4"
Depth: 52'0"

 

 

The River View

Square Footage: 1,756
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2.5
Stories: 2
Width: 30'
Depth: 49'.1"

 

 

The Valley View

Square Footage: 2,043
Bedrooms: 2 Master Suites (Option A) or 3 Bedrooms (Option B)
Baths: 2.5
Stories: 2
Width: 40'
Depth: 53'

 

 
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Green Built Miranda Homes Why Miranda
Energy efficient green building


Miranda Homes is a company with expertise in technology, engineering, energy efficiency and home construction.

Today, over 60% of homes on the market are built by independent contractors without access to sophisticated purchasing, scheduling or engineering. They use small sub-contractors that operate under the same challenges. With our expertise we have the resources to eliminate waste and streamline the home building process. All of this allows us to build higher quality homes at better prices.

Each individual at Miranda Homes has the same goal: to provide you with the best performing home on the market today.



Doing it right shouldn’t cost you more.

     

 

new homes built green in PortlandWe start by engineering your home. Traditional architectural plans offer too much room for interpretation by builders. By taking an engineering approach to home building, we are able to eliminate the conflicts that can come up when building a home from architectural plans. The reason is that engineering plans are much more detailed. For instance, we are able to see where plumbing may conflict with heating ducts and resolve those issues in the planning stages rather than on the job site. These issues are most often covered up by builders. Although much of this is never known by the homeowner it is passed on to them in the form of higher costs due to rework and a lower quality home. We have over 20 years of precision engineering, manufacturing and innovation experience allowing us to avoid these issues.

   green Engineered Homes

 Engineering also allows us to precisely control the quality of the build process and to ensure the correct application of the best technologies. In other words, we build your home correctly. We take responsibility for the resources used to construct and operate your home. We follow engineering with strict scheduling and quality craftsmanship. We control the entire process of the construction of your home rather than rely on subcontractors. Because we’re scheduling our own people to complete each step, we drastically reduce the time it takes traditional builders to complete a home. By taking this approach we save the homeowner money, both in the initial cost and in the home’s ongoing operation and maintenance.

 

Steel Frame ConstructionYou may have heard the saying,"You can't un-ring a bell." Sometimes you just can't go back and change things.

When a fruit grower decides to grow organic fruit they change their whole way of doing things. There's no way to make fruit organic after the fact. There's no "Bolt-On" alternative to doing things right from the start.

When Toyota created the Prius they didn't start with a Corolla and bolt on an electric motor. They started from scratch to build a whole new car. It has new wheels, a new transmission, a new computerized dashboard and a new drive system. Every component was reconsidered with the whole vehicle in mind. The result is the most popular hybrid car on the market and the rest of the automotive industry has begun to follow. green Spray Foam Insulation

The same is true when building homes. We can't start thinking about energy efficiency, lifespan, health and comfort of a home after it's built. There are certain essential components that just have to be built in. It starts with a clean slate and reconsideration of every system with the whole house in mind.

Solar panels can be bolted on and energy efficient appliances can be added but after a furnace and duct work have been installed in the garage it's not feasible to move them into conditioned space. An insulated foundation, without vents, that includes an earth slab and vapor barrier cannot be installed after the fact. Replacing traditional batting insulation with spray foam insulation would require gutting the inside perimeter of the house. There is simply no alternative to doing things right from the beginning.



We call it, "Built-In Performance" and we don't build homes without it.

 

 

Green Construction OregonToday’s home owner doesn’t buy into trends or marketing gimmicks. Unfortunately, “green” building is sometimes associated with both.

Homebuyers are now demanding that new construction be both affordable and sustainable. What you want is a healthy, livable, energy efficient home that you can feel good about. You want to buy your home at a highly competitive price and know that your resale value is typically at a 7.5% premium because you’ve made smart choices.

Our homes come standard with sustainable features that make the biggest impact, both for you and the environment. By using steel framing and spray-in foam insulation, you can be proud that you’re preserving non-renewable energy resources. And you’ll see ongoing and substantial cost savings in your utility bills by virtue of these features alone.

We listen to what you care about and respect your right to choose the other features that you value. Those may be related to sustainability, function, a beautiful aesthetic, or all three. Every step we take towards a lighter environmental footprint is a step in the right direction.

It’s not just that Miranda Homes values our world; it’s that we align your principles with your budget, and then we can really make a difference, together. The choices and associated benefits are yours.

What does it mean to be Earth Advantage® Certified?

Green Construction Oregon

Earth Advantage scores homes based on a worksheet that covers all aspects of construction. Builders earn points by choosing more sustainable construction methods and materials over less sustainable ones. The categories include interior air quality, environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and resource efficiency. The standards Earth Advantage has created target an energy usage of at least 15% less than a home built using the minimum building code.

To be Earth Advantage Certified a home must score minimum of 90 points. That qualifies it for a Silver rating. To earn a Gold rating, a score of 120 points, and for a Platinum rating a total of 140 points must be earned. To see the points worksheet Click here or on the image below.

Earth Advantage Platinum

What is the cost to build a Silver level home? What about Gold and Platinum.

Most builders should be able to attain a Silver level for about $3,800 in labor and materials. Much of it can be done for very little money by considering the Earth Advantage standards in the design process. Things like implementing a waste management plan, reducing house size and taking care to cover the construction site with erosion control materials are examples of low cost solutions.

At Miranda Homes we choose to build to a minimum of a Gold level certification. Reaching this level takes more planning and some better material choices. Some of how we reach a Gold level is by using Insulated Concrete Forms for our foundations and Spray Foam Insulation to seal the home against weather. We also use engineered steel studs, advanced framing systems, a home-run plumbing distribution system and an air management system to maximize energy usage and improve the quality of the interior air. We include a conditioned crawl space, rigid foam exterior insulation, a heat pump and run all heating ducts within conditioned space. The additional expense for these items and the other quality, energy efficient products we use comes to about $14,000 over a code built home.

Platinum level certification is the highest award Earth Advantage offers and Miranda Homes will build to this level based on customer requests. To reach Platinum level Miranda Homes includes all of the items used to reach Gold level certification as well as additional landscape planning. The location of the property and its proximity to shopping and public transit must also be considered. To reach this level adds approximately $18,000 in cost over a code built home.

At Miranda Homes we work hard to offset these costs through efficiencies in engineering, purchasing and processes.

But we don't do all of this for the certificate. We take these steps to give our customers homes that:


  • Reduce carbon footprints - Our homes produce approximately 5.3 tons less carbon per year than the average home. (Click Here to see what a ton of carbon looks like)

  • Reduce utility costs - Our homes reduce energy bills by an average of 50% over conventional homes.

  • Increase the life of the home - All of our homes are estimated to last 100 years longer than a code built home.

  • Bring a higher resale value - Earth Advantage homes are proven to shorten time on the market and bring higher prices.

  • Reduced waste in landfills - Our recycling program diverts 75% of construction waste to reuse or recycling.


As you'll see from the points worksheet, there are many ways to reach the different Earth Advantage levels. Some are more expensive than others but some have a much higher payback in reduced utility costs and improved lifestyle benefits. Every builder of an Earth Advantage certified home has completed the points worksheet and most will be glad to share it with you.

To learn more about Earth Advantage and the certification process for new homes Click here. For more information about how Miranda Homes reaches Gold and Platinum levels call us at 503-658-4818. We'll be glad to show you our points worksheets.

Green Real Estate


We invite you to learn more about our homes by visiting us. We encourage your questions.

When you’re ready to make a decision, consider Miranda’s features, advantages and benefits to determine if a Miranda Home is the right fit for you.

If it is, we’ll work together to secure your place in our production schedule and provide you with the most livable, energy efficient home you’ve ever owned.

 
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green built by Miranda Homes Ask The Builder

What Should Be In Every New Home and Why

Can you imagine buying a new car without seatbelts? They just aren’t available because certain features are demanded, by law and by consumers, as essential in every new car. So, what should be demanded as essential in a new home?

Green builders portland oregon

New homes should be:

  • Efficient – They should use energy sparingly and wisely.
  • Attractive – They should have the features that give you pride as a homeowner.
  • Comfortable – They should give you complete control over temperature, humidity and air quality.
  • Long Lasting – They should last 100 years or more.
  • Insect and rodent Resistant – They should use materials and methods that inhibit rodents and insects.
  • Easy to Maintain – They should not require excessive time or money in upkeep.
  • Environmentally Friendly to Build – They should not create excessive waste or environmental disruption during or after construction.
  • Safe – They should be fire resistant, mold resistant and not create harmful off-gasses.

In this section you'll find some key features that you should look for when deciding on which new home to purchase. You’ll be armed with the information you need to make an qualified decision. You’ll be able to ask the questions that will eliminate the poorly built homes from your list of possibilities.

Preface - The Builder and the Realtor

Usually, when looking at new homes, you’ll be dealing with the Realtor. A Realtor can be a valuable ally during the transaction and with facilitating your home shopping. But, in many cases, the Realtor won’t be able to adequately answer the tough questions you’ll want to ask if they weren't involved in the build process. If they can’t, ask to speak directly with the builder of any new home you’re considering buying. If the Realtor stands in the way, there’s a reason. The builder doesn’t want to deal with you.

Insulated Foundation

Your foundation should do more than just hold your house up. It should contribute to the energy efficiency of your home. It should be able to deal with moisture, reasonable earth movement, resist rodents and insects, and control outside environmental effects. If all of this is done, it allows the designers to utilize space they couldn’t otherwise and allows the home owner to access space they were uncomfortable entering before. It also adds to the comfort and longevity of the home.

new homes portland oregon

Ask the builder: Does this home have a sealed, insulated foundation?

By using insulated concrete forms builders can eliminate the vents that let in insects, rodents and cold moist air. By adding a concrete slab that covers the dirt floor of the traditional crawl space and introducing conditioned air the “stack effect” can be eliminated as well. The stack effect is most severe when heating the home as the warmer indoor air rises up through the building and escapes through open windows or ventilation openings. The rising warm air reduces the pressure in the crawl space of the building, pulling cold, moist air through the foundation vents and into the home. As the air works its way up through the home it deposits moisture in the insulation under the floor, the carpet, the furniture and the inside of the walls. That moisture shortens the lifespan of your home, reduces the quality of the air you breathe and makes the home less comfortable. An added benefit to sealing and insulating the foundation and introducing conditioned air is that air vents and plumbing can be run underneath the home without being subject to outside air temperatures. By keeping these systems in conditioned space, energy consumption is greatly reduced.

Ask the builder: Does this home have foundation drains?

All homes should be built with foundation drains. Not all homes are built with foundation drains. It’s a shortcut that saves the builder time and money but that has a huge negative impact on the quality and longevity of your home. Without water management around the base of your home it is subject to more earth movement, erosion and water in the crawlspace. At a minimum, the builder should use a drainage system around a home but, even better, is a footing form that includes water and radon gas evacuation. By using a footing form drain, water is managed on both sides of the foundation wall and under the concrete slab.

Ask the builder: Is this a monolithic pour foundation?

A monolithic pour is when all of the footings, foundation walls and earth slab are poured at one time. The biggest benefit of a monolithic pour is its strength. When all of the concrete is poured at the same time it all becomes one cohesive piece. Many builders set up plywood forms for the footings one day, and then come back the next day to pour concrete. The day following the footing pour they return to strip the forms. Later, they come back and repeat the process for the foundation walls. If they pour an earth slab, it is done in a third step. This method creates a foundation with a break between the footing and the walls which is not as strong or tightly sealed as a monolithic foundation. In addition, because a monolithic pour is completed in a single day, it requires the crew to drive to the job site one time rather than about ten times, and the concrete pump truck to travel to the jobsite one time rather than three. So, a monolithic pour makes a stronger foundation and does so with less environmental impact. Why wouldn’t every builder do it that way?

Ask the builder: Does this foundation take advantage of the thermal energy of the earth?

By excavating to the proper depth, the foundation of a home can take advantage of the constant 55 degree temperature of the earth. That means that when it is 25 degrees outside you have a head start on heating your home as the foundation collects that 55 degree temperature. Conversely, when it’s 90 degrees outside, you have a head start on cooling your house. It’s part of the energy efficiency of a home that many builders overlook.

Framing

Green methods and materials

Your walls play a huge part in energy efficiency. If your home is built in the rainy season, make sure it’s with materials that can stand this environment. If it’s built with lumber, understand its limitations.

Ask the builder: What material was used for framing?

Why does it matter? Most builders today use wood for framing homes. It’s easy to find sources of wood and it’s relatively easy to find people who can work with wood. But, wood has its shortcomings. When it gets wet it holds moisture for a long time; far longer than most builders are willing to wait before finishing the interior of a home. It can take weeks, months, or even longer for wet wood, sealed inside walls, to dry. In the mean time, mold and rot have the perfect environment to establish a foot-hold; warm, damp, organic material. When it does dry, wood doesn’t remain the same size and the same shape as it was when it was wet. So, as they dry, wood walls change shape resulting in visibly noticeable warping and cracked sheetrock. Get close to the wall and look down its length. If it’s wood, and it isn’t warped yet, it may not be dried out.

Builders may tell you that they avoid these problems by using kiln dried lumber. If so, ask them what steps have been taken since it left the mill to ensure that it stayed perfectly dry. As soon as wood is exposed to moisture it begins to absorb it. It's a natural property of trees. Without it they would not be able to draw in water and nutrients to survive. Cutting down a tree and drying it doesn't change its tendency to absorb water.

There’s a reason commercial buildings are framed with steel and it’s not because it’s cheaper. Builders of commercial buildings understand the benefits of steel. It has a longer lifespan than wood, does not retain water, remains dimensionally stable, creates less waste than wood framing and has a much higher strength to weight ratio. It is not susceptible to insects, rot or mold and it’s not combustible. Most of the steel used in framing is 100% post-consumer recycled material as well.

Green building homes Portland

Ask the builder: Where was the framing done for this home and what are the benefits?

Framing homes on-site is quickly becoming a method of the past. In fact, 47% of homes built on the East Coast today are framed in a plant. By framing in a plant and delivering completed wall sections to the jobsite for assembly, builders can ensure their quality. In a plant environment jigs and fixtures can be used to build walls that are perfectly square, windows can be installed and sealed, waste can be properly managed, and strict quality control measures can be employed. Walls can be built in a plant in less time, under better working conditions. When they are delivered to the jobsite they can be assembled in a matter of hours rather than days.

Insulation

Homes that conform to new code are better than last year’s homes, but do you want a home that just conforms to code or one that takes advantage of technology, considers energy conservation, raises livability to a whole new level, and does so affordably?

Ask the builder: What type of insulation is in the home?

spray foam insulation

Fiberglass batting and blown-in fiberglass insulation have been the choice of most home builders for the last 50 years. More recently, other types of insulation have gained popularity as we study how fiberglass fails when outside temperatures fall below 45 degrees. According to a study at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, funded by the Department of Energy, the printed “R” values of batting insulation are inaccurate. The study states that:

  • “R-19” labeled fiberglass batts have an actual R-value of 17.4 before they are installed.
  • “R-19” fiberglass batts have an actual R-value of 17.0 when installed “perfectly”.
  • “R-19” fiberglass batts have an actual R-value of 13.7 when installed as commonly found in actual walls. This represents a 28% loss in the actual R-value versus what is printed on the label.
green builder Blower Door Test

Click here to read more detailed results of the study.

The R-Value of spray foam is rated at R-4.45 per inch utilizing traditional R-Value calculation methods. However, independent laboratory testing has proven that in a "real-world" application where environmental conditions such as wind are added, spray foam insulation out-performed both fiberglass and cellulose insulations with R-values above R-30.

Make sure any home you’re considering uses open cell spray foam insulation. Open cell spray foam insulation expands during its application which helps it find and fill every crevice that might leak air. Batting leaves gaps around its perimeter in every wall cavity and at any seams. It’s impossible to squeeze it into all of the possible air leaks even if the installer can find them. In addition, open cell foam does not allow moisture transfer as fiberglass batting does.

Ask the builder: How many air changes per hour in this home?

Air Changes per Hour (or ACH) are calculated using a blower door test where all of the doors and windows are closed and the front door is replaced with a sealed fan that creates a controlled negative pressure inside the home. A gauge measures how many times the air inside the home is completely changed in an hour under this negative pressure. The ACH score of a home reveals how tightly sealed against outside infiltration it is. A lower score represents a more tightly sealed home.

The typical house, built to current code, usually scores 10 Air Changes per Hour (ACH). To qualify for the Energy Star rating a house can score no higher than 7 ACH. Look for a score of under 3 ACH for homes that are 70% better than standard homes. Infiltration typically represents 25-30% of the heating and cooling cost of a house so its ACH score is important. Lower energy usage is better for the homeowner and for the environment.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

green living Home Air Quality

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System (HVAC System) of a home has a huge impact on comfort and air quality. It consists of much more than an efficient furnace or heat pump. It’s an entire air management system that regulates fresh air, efficiently moves conditioned air, and ensures proper evacuation of “dirty” air.

Ask the builder: How is air quality managed?

Air quality management consists of temperature control, moisture control, introduction of fresh air and evacuation of “dirty” air. This doesn’t all happen by accident. Look for builders who consider all aspects of air quality management by incorporating active systems with monitoring and control over air quality and exchange.

green controlled air flow management

Ask the builder: Do all of the air ducts run within conditioned space?

Air ducts simply perform better when they’re within conditioned space. Metal is a great conductor of heat so metal ducts will quickly transfer temperature. When they’re in unconditioned space the difference in air temperature greatly affects the efficiency of your HVAC system. Any heat transfer the ducts allow should be within the space you’re trying to heat or cool so that the energy being used isn’t wasted. Sometimes you'll see an attempt to insulate ducts that run in unconditioned crawl spaces or attics. It’s a bandage that treats the symptom rather than the root.

Siding and Exterior Foam Insulation

green building using Hardie Siding

Home construction has evolved over time. As we understand more about the environment and how the materials we use affect livability, new technologies have been introduced that have the added benefit of longevity with low maintenance.

Ask the builder: Was exterior insulation used?

The best way to boost the insulating value of your walls is to reduce the impact of temperature differences before they get to the structure. Builders who use a double vapor barrier exterior insulation have taken the extra steps to seal your home against weather.

Ask the builder: What were the conditions the home was painted in?

Many homes are painted on site under whatever conditions were present. Maybe the home was painted on a dry, overcast 70 degree day. Maybe not. Look for builders who use long-lasting cement based siding that was painted in a factory under controlled conditions. Ask about guarantees too. You should expect a finish that doesn’t need to be repainted for at least 15 years and siding that’s guaranteed for at least 50 years. When a manufacturer has a 15 year finish guarantee and a 50 year materials guarantee it says something about their confidence.

Contractors and Subcontractors

At the surface, it may look like most homes are built by professional homebuilders. In truth, most home construction is run by a contractor but built by 20 or more subcontractors.

New Homes should be built green

Ask the builder: Was this home built by a single professional builder or by many subcontractors each completing a small part of the process?

Subcontractors (or “Subs”) tend to be concerned with their own piece of the process. They don’t generally worry about the other subcontractors or how their work affects the work of others. Shoddy work has to be dealt with by the trades that follow. It is common to see a jobsite sit for days at a time with no one working on it because one sub is waiting on another, who is waiting on another, etc. That wasted time can add several months to the process and is transferred to the home buyer as extra costs in the form of interest and insurance payments made by the developer or construction loan interest by the homeowner. By contrast, a professional builder efficiently schedules, completes, and takes full responsibility for every aspect of the home. It is a common impression that faster construction equates to lower quality. In fact, organized building processes reduce build time, increase quality control, and reduce costs. You’ll notice that homes built by professional builders are completed much more quickly (45 days or less) because of the control they have over scheduling. The assembly crew completes every part of the process. Any shoddy work they pass on is to themselves, so it is in each individual’s best interest to complete each task correctly.

Ask the builder: Who do I call with issues or questions?

It is common for contractors to refer questions to the subcontractor who completed the specific task in question. Often times it is not clear who the responsible party is. Subcontractors point fingers at each other leaving the homeowner powerless and the issue unresolved. When homes are built by a single responsible professional homebuilder issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently.

Hidden Details

Many aspects of a home and its construction are covered up with the finishes. Sheetrock and carpet hide floor decking, fasteners and poor quality materials. What's under the cosmetics is very important to the longevity of your home and the comfort and security you'll experience while you live there.

Ask the builder: Was this home built from architectural plans or from engineering plans?

Engineering a green Home

Historically, homes have been built from a set of architectural plans. These plans are a two dimensional guideline. It is similar to trying to build a car with a photograph and some notes. There is a significant amount of room for errors in translation by builders. Engineering is done in a three dimensional environment. Every aspect of the construction is completed on the computer prior to building. In a three dimensional environment designers are able to look at a home from every angle on the computer which exposes issues before they’re experienced on the jobsite.

Ask the builder: What is the thickness of the floor decking?

Floor decking is what’s under the floor covering. Most builders use ¾” plywood. You’ll notice a big difference with 1 1/8” tongue and groove plywood. It provides a more solid surface and is quieter than thinner decking. If you want to check for yourself, look at the crawlspace access door. Key to a good green roofYou’ll be able to see from the profile exactly what is being used. Many builders will use less expensive materials here because they don’t think you’ll ask or that you’ll check for yourself. (While you have the crawlspace access door open, look inside to see if there is a concrete slab or just a plastic sheet over dirt.)

Ask the builder: What types of fasteners were used to build the home?

Did you know that screws provide 30% more strength than nails? They also tend to squeak less. Look for builders who use screws rather than nails as fasteners.

Ask the builder: What is the Quality Control process you use?

Every builder should have a written quality control process. Ask to see it, as well as the QC Inspector’s sign-offs for the construction of the home. If the builder has them they will be proud to show you. Look for detailed sign off sheets for each wall that show they were inspected for proper assembly and quality of materials. Builders may try to convince you that the local building inspectors ensure they meet requirements. But, keep in mind, local inspectors are charged with inspecting for health and safety aspects of a structure. They are not responsible for accuracy, aesthetics or quality.

Ask the builder: What is your waste management plan during construction?

Every builder should have a waste management plan. According to the Office of Sustainable Development, four pounds of waste are created during construction for each square foot of a typical home. That means, in a typical 1,700 square foot house, 6,800 pounds of waste are created. That adds up quickly in a neighborhood of 100 homes. Make sure your builder is doing everything possible to reduce that amount of waste and recycling everything they can. Look for a plan that targets 1 pound per square foot or less with 95% of that being recycled.

Ask the builder: What measures have you taken to ensure the roof doesn’t leak?

There are many new products available today that help ensure a better sealed roof. Starting with the felt paper, (which is the base layer of the roof) better builders use improved staples that include a plastic cap. The cap helps seal the hole created by the staple and minimizes the possibility of the felt paper tearing at the entry point.

Roof valleys are another particularly susceptible area and can be improved with the use of an ice and water shield between the felt paper and the metal flashing.

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new home builder Miranda Homes News
June 18, 2010

How to "Go Green" and Comply with Building Code

Scott Caufield, the Building Codes Administrator for Clackamas Couny has recently had a new book published. Miranda Homes is honored to have one of our homes featured on the cover and several places throughout the book.

The book is written for anyone wanting to build a green home but many of the principals described in the book can be applied to all types of construction.

From the Preface:

Whether you are considering green construction from the perspective of a home-owner, a builder, a design professional, or a code official, this text will provide valuable information to assist you in that quest.
Scott begins by explaining the code and the role of the code official. It is written to be understood by readers who have little or no experience with building codes. He also describes alternative means and methods (AMM) and how they can be applied to residential construction.

The second section of the book goes into identifying key areas where green decisions can be made in a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the code. The organization of chapters is laid out in much the same way as the International Residential Code (IRC) making it easy to follow.

Miranda Homes appears in the book several times with photographs highlighting our foundation and floor joist system, steel frame construction, spray foam insulation, water distribution manifold and rainwater harvesting system.

For your own copy of Going Green with the International Building Code click -HERE- or go to www.delmarlearning.com and keyword search "Going Green."

 

 

May 27, 2010

Miranda Homes - Now Offering Custom Home Plans

sustainable portland homesUntil now, we've been building a library of home plans for buyers to choose from. We've selected floor plans that we feel will satisfy a range of customers while incorporating all of the features you've been reading about here.

Well, now we're offering custom homes too. Buyers can bring us a floor plan from their architect, a plan book or a website. We will re-engineer the plans to incorporate all of the things that make a Miranda Home a Miranda Home.

We'll apply all of our methods and materials to build your dream home in a way that reduces the impact of construction on the environment and provides you with a home that is long-lasting, comfortable, low maintenance and energy efficient.

We're still expanding the library of "in-house" designs and will continue to offer a growing variety to choose from. But, if you've been wishing you could have a Miranda Home with your custom plan, now you can.

 

 

April 28, 2010

Making "Cents" of the Energy Performance Score

oregon sustainable homeYou may have read our Blog posting about our latest Energy Performance Score. The Energy Performance Score is a great tool for illustrating how much energy a house will use and how much carbon it will produce. However, it only has relevance if people can compare it to their current home or other homes they are considering buying. Let's break that score down into something we can all relate to. Dollars and cents.

We've been told by the City of Portland's Office of Planning and Sustainability that the average household in Portland uses 11,500 kWh of electricity and 600 therms of natural gas per year.

If you dig up your latest PGE bill and divide the total amount due by the number of kWh you used you'll find that, with all of the fees, taxes and public purpose charges it comes out to around 10.5 cents per kWh. So, .105 x 11,500 kWh = a total average electricity bill of $1,207.50 per year.

Running through the same math with your NW Natural Gas bill you should see that usage and fees come to about $1.27 per therm. So, 600 therms per year at $1.27 is $762 per year.

So the energy cost for the average house in Portland is $1207.5 + $762 = $1,969.50 per year.

Now, let's look at the EPS sheet provided to us by Energy Trust of Oregon. In the lower right hand corner you'll see that our home is projected to use $1,128 of energy per year.

Miranda Homes Green Building Program

Of course, some homes are better than average and some are worse but if you subtract our $1,128 from the average $1,969.50 you get a savings of $841.50 per year or $70.12 per month. That's a savings of 42% on your monthly energy bill and it's all done through conservation. The methods and materials we use to build homes allow the home owners to use less energy without sacrificing comfort or lifestyle.

Keep in mind that energy rates have been rising faster than incomes so, you can expect that in the future, the savings from buying an energy efficient home will only increase.

 

 

February 12, 2010

Blower Door Testing

Green testing for buildersEarth Advantage Technical Specialist, Joel Tolman came out yesterday to do a final inspection and Blower Door Test on another of our homes. The Blower Door Test measures how well a house resists infiltration of outside air. third party green certification for buildersInfiltration typically represents 20-40% of the cost of heating a home so stopping as much of it as possible is an important step in reducing energy use.

To perform the test an exterior door is opened and sealed with a panel that includes a large fan. Negative pressure is created inside the house by blowing the air out. Using an electronic sensor, the tester can then measure the amount of air that is able to infiltrate through windows, doors or any other breach points. Performance is determined by how many times per hour the air in the house changes over. The lower the number is, the better sealed the house is. The typical house, built to current code, usually scores 10 Air Changes per Hour (ACH). To qualify for the Energy Star rating a house can score no higher than 7 ACH. A better than average score falls in the range of 3 to 5 ACH. Our house scored 1.6 ACH.

Even though we've scored so well we were able to identify some of the areas we had breaches. We'll be asking Earth Advantage to come back next week to measure again and the new home owner will be in attendance.

 

 

February 2010

How to Build Cars... And Houses..... And Houses out of Cars

steel frame houses portland oregonOne of the benefits of our planning and pre-building process is that we can minimize the waste we generate. Not only wasted materials, but wasted time as well. We invest time up front on methods and processes that allow us to build efficiently like building the wall panels in the plant and delivering them to the site in the order we will stand them. We don't cut framing on site so there's not a big pile of lumber or steel scraps. The exterior rigid foam insulation is installed in the plant not hand-cut out in the field. We deliver the materials for each day's work in the morning and leave the job site clean at the end of the day. All this planning means there aren't extra parts, material or scrap sitting around on our job sites. It’s one of the remarkable things that people notice when they visit.

This way of working comes from the Toyota Production System (TPS). It’s called “The Five S’s.” They are:

  • Sifting – Identifying the needed items at the worksite and removing the unneeded items
  • Sorting – Arranging items at the worksite to be easily found and within reach when needed
  • Sweeping – Cleaning the area and around the worksite and cleaning the tools to maintain top performance
  • Spic and Span – Providing a system to create a clean and safe work environment
  • Sustaining – Creating awareness or discipline by each worker to maintain a clean and safe worksite.

The Five S’s are important because disorder can cover up problems and because they encourage prevention thinking.

steel frame construction new homesAnother positive result of the methods we use is a very clean job site.

We feel that it’s a good reflection on us and provides a safe work site for our associates and our visitors. Job site housekeeping is one of the major requirements in the General Safety and Health Provisions section of OSHA’s Health & Safety Construction-related Regulations. Even small obstacles can be a tripping hazard. Injuries from slips, trips and falls on flat surfaces account for a large number of the overall injures in residential construction.

Of course, an uncluttered job site is easier to work in too. Tools and supplies are visible, easier to find, and it’s easier to move around. Time isn’t wasted moving things out of the way before you can start the next task. A clean job site means that it’s easier to do even the small safety tasks that can make a difference like running our magnetic sweep around the site to pick up any stray screws that could pierce a boot or a truck tire.

Really, it’s just an extension of our quality-focused approach throughout the whole process. It includes all of the processes, the people, the methods and the end product.

 

 

January 2010

What is a VOC?

VOC stands for "Volatile Organic Compounds" which are sometimes referred to as "Off-gasses." Some of the most common sources of VOCs are paints, varnishes, cleaners and solvents. They release gasses not LOW VOC home builders Portlandonly during curing, but sometimes long after and sometimes without any odor. Concentrations inside the home can be up to five times higher than outdoors. VOCs affect the indoor air quality of a home and can have a negative impact on the health of its occupants. The EPA considers indoor air quality amongst the top five leading health risks in the US.

Click here to read more from the EPA website.

So, you can understand why Earth Advantage awards points toward certification based on the use of low VOC materials.

Don't be afraid to ask the builder of any home you're considering to provide the information on VOCs of the products they use.

January 2010
What is FSC Lumber?

Many of you may have heard the term "FSC" when looking at houses. If you aren't sure what FSC means or why it's important, read on...

FSC is the acronym for "Forest Stewardship Council"; a global agency developed to ensure the sustainable growth and harvesting of forest products. They certify forest products for companies and land owners who can verify that they use practices that are consistent with FSC standards. Those standards cover not only the sustainability of the forest itself, but also the well being of the animals and people who work in, live in and depend on those forests. It encompasses the health, environmental, social and economic aspects of growing and harvesting forest products.

Click here to learn read more about the Forest Stewardship Council

FSC in new homes PortlandThe reason I bring this up is that we're installing some of the most beautiful hardwood flooring you'll ever see. It is FSC Tigerwood 3/4" solid wood tongue and groove. It is much harder, and more durable than oak and it has a contrast between light and dark that really comes out when finished. After installation the tigerwood can be sanded and finished with a natural vegetable oil and wax based finish or by using traditional floor finishes. Because it's a solid wood floor rather than a laminate it can be refinished several times if needed without worry of sanding through to a composite base.

FSC products are generally more expensive but builders who choose to use them recognize the benefits as people question the choices they make and how they affect others.

- Miranda Homes

 

 

January 2010
Follow us on Twitter

We've started using Twitter as a way to send out updates about what we're working on. You can expect regular "Tweets" on the progress of specific homes we're building as well as links to interesting sites, blogs and articles we come across.
Just click this button. Follow MirandaHomes on Twitter

December 2009
What Does it Mean to be Earth Advantage Certified?
Green Construction Oregon

Earth Advantage scores homes based on a worksheet that covers all aspects of construction. Builders earn points by choosing more sustainable construction methods and materials over less sustainable ones. The categories include interior air quality, environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and resource efficiency. The standards Earth Advantage has created target an energy usage of at least 15% less than a home built using the minimum building code.

To be Earth Advantage Certified a home must score minimum of 90 points. That qualifies it for a Silver rating. To earn a Gold rating, a score of 120 points, and for a Platinum rating a total of 140 points must be earned. To see the points worksheet Click here or on the image below.

Earth Advantage Platinum green building

What is the cost to build a Silver level home? What about Gold and Platinum.

Most builders should be able to attain a Silver level for about $3,800 in labor and materials. Much of it can be done for very little money by considering the Earth Advantage standards in the design process. Things like implementing a waste management plan, reducing house size and taking care to cover the construction site with erosion control materials are examples of low cost solutions.

At Miranda Homes we choose to build to a minimum of a Gold level certification. Reaching this level takes more planning and some better material choices. Some of how we reach a Gold level is by using Insulated Concrete Forms for our foundations and Spray Foam Insulation to seal the home against weather. We also use engineered steel studs, advanced framing systems, a home-run plumbing distribution system and an air management system to maximize energy usage and improve the quality of the interior air. We include a conditioned crawl space, rigid foam exterior insulation, a heat pump and run all heating ducts within conditioned space. The additional expense for these items and the other quality, energy efficient products we use comes to about $14,000 over a code built home.

Platinum level certification is the highest award Earth Advantage offers and Miranda Homes will build to this level based on customer requests. To reach Platinum level Miranda Homes includes all of the items used to reach Gold level certification as well as additional landscape planning. The location of the property and its proximity to shopping and public transit must also be considered. To reach this level adds approximately $18,000 in cost over a code built home.

At Miranda Homes we work hard to offset these costs through efficiencies in engineering, purchasing and processes.

But we don't do all of this for the certificate. We take these steps to give our customers homes that:


  • Reduce carbon footprints - Our Platinum homes produce approximately 5.3 tons less carbon per year than the average home. (Click Here to see what a ton of carbon looks like)

  • Reduce utility costs - Our Platinum homes reduce energy bills by an average of 50% over conventional homes.

  • Increase the life of the home - All of our homes are estimated to last 100 years longer than a code built home.

  • Bring a higher resale value - Earth Advantage homes are proven to shorten time on the market and bring higher prices.

  • Reduced waste in landfills - Our recycling program diverts 75% of construction waste to reuse. (approximately 7,500 pounds per home)


As you'll see from the points worksheet, there are many ways to reach the different Earth Advantage levels. Some are more expensive than others but some have a much higher payback in reduced utility costs and improved lifestyle benefits. Every builder of an Earth Advantage certified home has completed the points worksheet and most will be glad to share it with you.

To learn more about Earth Advantage and the certification process for new homes Click here. For more information about how Miranda Homes reaches Gold and Platinum levels call us at 503-658-4818. We'll be glad to show you our points worksheets.


November 2009
Built-In Versus Bolt-On Performance

You may have heard the saying, “You can’t un-ring a bell.” Sometimes you just can’t go back and change things.

When a fruit grower decides to grow organic fruit they change their whole way of doing things. There’s no way to make fruit organic after the fact. There’s no “Bolt-On” alternative to doing things right from the start.

When Toyota created the Prius they didn’t start with a Corolla and bolt on an electric motor. They started from scratch to build a whole new car.Energy Efficiency It has new wheels, a new transmission, a new computerized dashboard, and a new drive system. Every component was reconsidered with the whole vehicle in mind. The result is the most popular hybrid car on the market and the rest of the automotive industry has begun to follow.

The same is true when building homes. We can’t start thinking about energy efficiency,green HVAC system lifespan, health and comfort of a home after it’s built. There are certain essential components that just have to be built in. It starts with a clean slate and reconsideration of every component with the whole house in mind.

Solar panels can be bolted on and energy efficient appliances can be installed but after a furnace and duct work have been installed in the garage it’s not feasible to move them into conditioned space. An insulated foundation, without vents, that includes an earth slab and vapor barrier cannot be installed after the fact. Replacing traditional batting insulation with spray foam insulation would require gutting the inside perimeter of the house. There is simply no alternative to doing things right from the beginning.

We call it, “Built-In Performance” and we don’t build homes without it.

Mark Mecklem - Miranda Homes



November 2009
Turns Out that Size Really Does Matter.

When it comes to house size, statistics say that, for most people, smaller is better. As the glut of homes over 2,500 square feet languish on the market buyers are flocking to smaller, more efficient homes, just like the people who used to drive Hummers are looking at smaller more efficient vehicles. People’s thinking is shifting from square footage to carbon footprints. Pride of ownership is shifting from excess to efficiency.

low energy use

As the status symbols of the last 10 years are changing they are opening the doors for advancements in technology as they relate to sustainable building. Alternative energy sources are being introduced, insulation is getting better, foundations are improving and off gassing from paints and adhesives are being reduced, just to name a few.

Miranda Homes’ goal is to be at the forefront of these technological advances while keeping an eye on attainability. “Green” homes with price tags that are 30% higher than other homes cannot become main stream because most people can’t afford them. At Miranda Homes we applaud and encourage all builders who raise the expectations of their customers by providing durable, comfortable, sustainable, efficient homes that are low maintenance and long lasting at prices that they can afford.

Mark Mecklem - Miranda Homes Attainably Sustainable.

October 2009
Miranda Homes Announces Free Energy Performance Evaluation
Home Builder will team with Earth Advantage to give home buyers tools for comparison.

Miranda Homes has teamed with Earth Advantage to put together a unique offer for home buyers. For a limited time, prospective home buyers can receive a free Energy Performance Evaluation, of their current home for comparison against other homes they are considering.

Similar to the MPG sticker in the window of a new car, the Energy Performance Evaluation gives consumers a way to compare homes they are considering against each other. Earth Advantage takes into consideration energy efficiency and carbon output of a home by evaluating insulation, windows, fixtures, design and several other factors. The evaluation takes a few hours and normally costs $500-700 to complete.

The offer from Miranda Homes provides the first ten responding Oregon residents with a free evaluation of their current home, as long as it is on the market or they have a mortgage pre-approval letter from a bank.

For more information about earth advantage visit their website at www.earthadvantage.com. To schedule a tour of one of Miranda’s homes and to take advantage of this offer please call Miranda Homes at 503-658-4818 and ask about the free energy performance evaluation.

 
April 2010
Miranda Homes Featured in an Article by Sustainablog

Another article has been written that includes Miranda Homes. Click on the image to be directed to the full article.

sustainable building

Below is the text about Miranda Homes from the article.

3. Recycled junk cars

Rob Boydstun got into home building because he realized that his metal works business (which built commercial car carriers) likely wasn’t going to survive the economic downturn on its own. Still, he didn’t take a particularly easy route: Miranda Homes, the company he founded, is dedicated to building affordable green homes. Part of the design the new company created involves steel framing for homes… and that steel comes from “the crushed carcasses of junked vehicles. (About four to six cars per house).”

While an unusual material goes into the house’s frame, the homes themselves are pretty conventional… they’re also very green in other ways. Miranda has several dozen photos available on its Facebook page.



March 2010
Miranda Homes Featured in an Article by Earth Advantage

Earth Advantage has published an article about Miranda Homes.

Click on the image to be redirected to the Earth Advantage website or read the full article below. Earth Advantage Platinum

Green Engineered: The Miranda Homes' Way

March 30, 2010

You're a new homebuyer. Imagine hearing the builder say, "Construction is set to begin tomorrow. In 45 days, you can move into your new house. And by the way, it will achieve the highest level of green certification." Yes, you heard right: 45 days. You could be living in a brand new, green-certified home in less than two months. Most people cannot find an apartment to rent in such little time. Thanks to new thinking and existing production capabilities, Miranda Homes is changing the face-and building schedule-of new home construction.

The concept for Miranda Homes was sparked several years ago when its owner, Rob Boydstun, also owner of Boydstun Metal Works, started exploring new ways to use his company's existing materials and machinery. "The initial idea was to use our machine shops to build roll-forming machines to make steel studs. But after studying the entire value stream of building homes, we determined that steel studs alone were not the answer to improving housing," recalls Mark Mecklem, VP of Sales and Marketing for Miranda Homes. It was time for a fresh start.

The first step in improving traditional home construction came in the form of a panelized wall system. Traditional framing practices cause excessive jobsite waste, allow insulation voids, and are susceptible to insects and the elements. Miranda Homes' 100% recycled, steel-framed panelized wall systems are produced with minimal waste, will last forever, and are not affected by moisture or pests. The wall panels are shipped to the jobsite and assembled in just one day.

The only problem with steel frames is that metal conducts heat and cold more than wood, so it is more susceptible to thermal bridging than a wood framed house. Thermal bridging is the loss of heating or cooling through the uninsulated studs. Miranda Homes solves this issue with insulation. The panelized wall systems are assembled with plywood sheathing and a layer of external, rigid foam insulation. Once assembled at the jobsite, spray-foam insulation is applied to the walls. Spray-foam insulation has the highest R-Value of all the types of insulation and it forms a complete seal in the wall cavity.

Another cause of heating/cooling loss is a home's foundation. To prevent this problem, Miranda Homes insulates the slab of the foundation and uses insulated concrete forms (ICFs) to create insulated foundation walls. This system, called a "mechanically vented crawlspace," improves a home's efficiency by eliminating passive vents and keeping any heating/cooling loss from hot water piping and ductwork from escaping. Additionally, Miranda Homes pours the entire foundation in just one day. This practice reduces waste, creates a stronger foundation, and cuts labor costs by two-thirds.

A complimentary step to insulation is air sealing. The more tightly sealed a home is, the less it is going to leak heated or cooled air. Blower door tests are the industry standard for evaluating how efficiently a home is sealed. To qualify for ENERGY STAR® certification and Earth Advantage® certification, a home must test less than 7 air changes per hour (ACH). On average, an Earth Advantage certified home tests between 6 - 6.5 ACH. A score of 2 - 3 ACH is considered excellent. Recently, a blower door test performed on a Miranda Home recorded a 1.5 ACH, but this wasn't good enough. "We identified some problem areas and sealed them up," says Mecklem.

Earth Advantage returned to the home for a follow-up blower door test. The result: a jaw-dropping 0.6 ACH. "I couldn't believe it," says MacKenzie Winchell, the Earth Advantage residential technical specialist who performed the test. "I retested it two more times to make sure the test was accurate."

The blower door test not only confirmed that the Miranda Homes' system is working, but that it is working incredibly well. For them, it's really just another step in the right direction. The company is constantly looking for ways to improve. To date, Miranda has made improvements to the truss system, air sealing, and whole house ventilation systems. In fact, every essential mechanical system (i.e., plumbing, HVAC) is carefully pre-engineered. The company's process has been refined to six distinct phases of construction and Miranda Homes only uses a select few subcontractors, reducing costs, eliminating delays, and improving the quality and efficiency of each home.

While some established builders seek reasons not to change, Miranda Homes embraces change and improves on it. The future for the company looks bright. Currently in the middle of constructing its fourth home, Miranda Homes offers seven floor plans and is developing the eighth. Additionally, according to Mecklem, "Miranda Homes is always researching new products to see how they fit into our building principles and methods. We're looking for products that improve safety for our people, reduce impact on the environment, and increase the quality, monthly savings, and longevity of our homes for the homeowners." Don't be surprised if you hear about a 30-day house in a couple of years.

February 2010
Miranda Homes in NuTimes Magazine

Miranda Homes is the subject of an article in the latest issue of NuTimes Magazine.

Click here or on the picture below to read the full article

Miranda Homes steel framing



2009
Miranda Homes in Orion Magazine

green building in Orion Magazine ArticleNow here’s a story: a guy in Oregon has figured out how to turn the hulks of four to six former cars into cool little houses that cost between $100,000 and $250,000, depending on their size. The stories I read burble on to describe the incredible energy efficiency of the houses, how they are designed to be built by five workers in forty-five days rather than by the average fifteen workers in the average 225 days, and how rats and termites and carpenter ants and suchlike will curse and moan because they cannot chew their way through recycled steel, and how the houses take advantage of the biggest, heaviest recyclable product that pretty much everyone owns, and how the houses, called Miranda Homes, don’t look like gleaming metallic yurts, as you might think they would, but more like your regular old friendly suburban cottage, the kind where Donna Reed is beaming at the door and you can smell bacon and there’s a kid upstairs not doing homework, and I get so fascinated I track down the guy, and we.....

Click here or on the picture above to read the full article





2009
Halogen Life Article about Miranda Homes

Halogen Life Article about alternative buildingHere’s a great concept that combines sustainable materials with new, conceptual real estate ideas. Portland, Oregon-based Miranda Homes has made waves by making homes out of sustainable recycled materials, most notably crushed cars. The steel, glass and rubber are put through an energy-efficient refining process and transformed into metal studs. There’s a more in-depth story about the process at The Oregonian. The homes open up at a reasonable price point of $150,000, and the company maintains a blog that details their latest, greenest developments (like their use of a new insulation made entirely of post-industrial material). Industrial recycling is everywhere, and it’s paying off: the Germans are experiencing a huge surge in new car buying partially thanks to the country’s vehicle scrapping program, while Best Buy is expanding on its electronics recycling service. It’s one of those all-win situations that in this economy suddenly makes sense. Plus, it’s good for the Earth. Would you be more likely to build with a company like Miranda because of their green-leaning ways, or would you prefer not to experiment with something as fundamental as a house? It seems like the industry may follow suit (especially if the materials become more cost-effective), but how much does it matter to you, the home buyer?

Click here or on the picture above to read the full article





October 2008
Press Release - Landwaves and Miranda Homes

The following press release was written by Sally Murdoch at the request of Landwaves, Inc.

Landwaves and Miranda Homes Discussing Homebuilding In Newport
Coastal Development in South Beach Strives to Maximize Efficient and Healthy Construction While Supporting Local, US Economy

Newport, OR, October 14, 2008 . . . When it came time to consider homebuilders for their upcoming Newport community, called Wilder, Landwaves, Inc. owners Will Emery and Bonnie Serkin had a lot of options. They were drawn to the youngest of the bunch—a startup called Miranda Homes founded less than a year ago by Oregon native Rob Boydstun. The builder’s knowledge of sustainable production processes and materials such as recycled steel and concrete forms with little waste were big in Will and Bonnie’s book. Landwaves also shared Miranda’s commitment to building enduring, resource-efficient homes at sensible prices. Plus, Bonnie said, their willingness to produce coastal village-style architectural homes made Miranda a front-runner as one of the builders for Phase I of Wilder. With building slated to begin in 2009, discussions are currently underway for construction of ten cottages and ten houses in the first few months.
This first phase of the 200 + acre Wilder community will be designed mostly for primary residences--not vacation homes like most recent developments on the Oregon Coast. Construction will take cues from Portland’s historic Laurelhurst neighborhood, where Craftsman cottages, Victorian homes and a few estates coexist around a beautiful park, with shops and restaurants nearby. Yet unlike Laurelhurst, Wilder has the distinct advantage of being set in the serene woods above the Yaquina River.

Landwaves’ driving principle behind Wilder is that development should be so gentle on the land that structures replacing the forest will be as beautiful and ecologically sound as the forest itself—all with an eye to cost. Wilder will have open habitat space and bike and walking trails that may link the village to Mike Miller Park, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Hatfield Marine Science Center, South Beach State Park and a new business park with a wetland preserve off SE 50th Street. If ecological planning comes to fruition, Wilder will serve as a model of integrated stormwater management and alternative energies. The first bioswale for onsite stormwater detention has already been constructed along 40th Street, the new road recently built from Highway 101 to the future village center. Oregon Coast Community College’s (OCCC) new main campus is already under construction on the western edge of the village and is being built to a LEED silver standard.

Wilder’s draw will be pocket homes surrounded by coastal forest in a village atmosphere. It will include shops, cafes and offices in the village center for a lifestyle surrounded by natural environments in a village atmosphere. Plans call for all buildings to meet or exceed Earth Advantage standards for energy efficiency, clean air and use of renewable materials. Homebuyers will also have a range of housing options.

Wilder’s goals mesh well with those of Boydstun and Miranda Homes. On his search for a sustainable home for himself, Boydstun found that prices were often inflated 15% or more for additions builders considered “green.” In one highly touted house, the seller and builder didn’t know what made the home 40% more efficient.
Boydstun also felt dismayed by the amount of waste in local home building; not only with the amount of wood products to dispose of, multiple trips to the jobsite, and slower building times, but also the houses themselves were models of waste. He saw builders drywall in more than the acceptable amount of standing water from rain, thereby sealing the homes’ fate with mold or landfill matter 20 or 30 years down the road.

After seeing countless builders in the midst of projects, Boydstun’s aha moment came when he realized he could do it better if he applied the same philosophy and materials he does at Boydstun Metal Works in North Portland. Twelve years ago, Boydstun’s company instituted the Toyota Production System (TPS), a philosophy that has led to the success of Toyota’s products by standardizing processes. The end result is reduced waste, or “muda” in Japanese, and in Boydstun’s case, this makes perfect sense when applied to homebuilding. By using Kaizen principles, Miranda Homes constantly works to improve the production process. He knew if he used panelized building processes, where most of the home is built in a plant, the waste could be reduced by 30%. And he also knew you didn’t have to be a millionaire to buy a sustainable home.
“We use 100% recycled steel from crunched up cars,” he said. “We pre-make the walls and the framing from steel coils that feed directly into our forming machines, so all pieces are extruded to size right here in the factory, thereby minimizing waste and the number of trips to the jobsite. It’s the TPS philosophy applied to panelized building that sets us apart.”
Once the director of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development toured Boydstun’s plant, Boydstun really knew he was on to something. ‘“In all my years of teaching and learning, I never thought I would see anyone with the capability and drive to actually rationalize houses,” the director wrote in a letter to Boydstun. “You have a great future ahead!”’
Boydstun pointed out that framing homes with steel and pre-making the house components in a plant, especially in wet climates like Oregon’s, offers a number of advantages. Work can happen year round and wetness of the building products is no longer an issue. All of the interior and exterior walls are built in the plant in one day and delivered the next day for installation. There are fewer trips to the job site for workers and suppliers, thereby eliminating fossil fuel usage. Instead of taking three weeks to frame a house onsite, it can be done in a couple of days. There are fewer trips to the jobsite for the typical crew. Using steel for framing creates no waste except for punched holes for wiring and plumbing, and that waste is collected and recycled.

Visit Miranda’s site at: www.mirandahomes.com and regularly updated information on the processes and materials they use and why is posted on their blog at http://mirandahomes.blogspot.com/ Special “coastal” models with all-inclusive pricing for lots and homes are in the plans for Wilder, with the pricing goal starting under $200,000. For more information on Wilder, please contact Landwaves at 503-221-0167.

 
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PO Box 90114 - Portland, Oregon - 97290

Phone: (503)658-4818- Fax: (503) 658-4838

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