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News & Stories That Make a Difference for Your Home

Dump the AC, Use These 3 Green Cooling Solutions While Building Your Home!

July 1, 2019 The Better India

Photo by Douglas LeMoine/CC BY-ND 2.0

“Everything we build from now onwards has to be eco-sensitive, energy efficient, cost efficient, people centered and value based. Otherwise we will lose the game,”

Award winning architect G Shankar, sharing solutions that can cool houses without ACs

Summer is in full swing and air conditioning units are working hard to keep people cool. As our planet warms, the demand for space cooling (air conditioning and refrigeration) will rise. With increasing incomes and standards of living, more nations are starting to increase investments in air conditioning to keep their citizens comfortable. Dangerous heat waves may become more prevalent, and people will need to find ways to stay cool and safe as climate change continues.

“It’s not too hard to imagine a vicious cycle in which more hot weather begets more demand for air conditioning ever and thus, even more, need for power. That, in turn, means more [carbon dioxide] emissions and even hotter temperatures. That negative feedback loop exists at a local level too. Air-conditioning units funnel heat outside, exacerbating the so-called ‘urban heat island’ effect, which makes cities warmer than the countryside,”

Bloomberg columnist Chris Bryant.

While our planet is warming, using and producing air conditioning equipment exacerbates climate change. The organic compound Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) is the primary refrigerant used in air conditioning and refrigeration units. HFCs are a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and are leaked anywhere from manufacturing air conditioning equipment, to installation, to the disposal of old units. Additionally, air conditioning and refrigeration units run on electricity that relies primarily on fossil fuels to generate power. As the need for cooling rises, so too will the need for electricity. The air conditioning market is facing major growth in the years to come, and According to the International Energy Agency, the number of air-conditioning units will exponentially grow from 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2050 because of increasing urbanization, rising population, higher incomes, and falling AC prices. Fortunately, there are many solutions to keep people cool and comfortable while also reducing climate pressures.

Read on to find out three housing solutions you can adopt as an alternative to using AC to cool your space:

Read More

The Green New Deal could change the way America builds — here’s how

June 24th, 2019Fast Company

[Source Photo: Mischa Keijser/Getty Images]

To meet the goals of the resolution, the design and construction industries will retrofit millions of structures and build many more. In the process, they could create a more just and resilient country

Original Article:  https://www.fastcompany.com 

BY KELSEY CAMPBELL-DOLLAGHAN | Whether or not the U.S. decides to take action on climate change, the shape of the country—its towns, offices, homes, schools, roads, farms, and more—is on the brink of a radical transformation. This transformation could be borne out in two ways. The first is external: Escalating storms, floods, droughts, mass migration, food scarcity, and economic instability could dramatically alter the physical landscape and economy. The other is internal: A national effort to retrofit millions of buildings and rethink the way communities are designed could help Americans withstand the ravages of climate change and make the country more equitable.

The resolution known as the Green New Deal, published by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey in February, wants to bring about the latter. The Green New Deal framework describes the monumental changes needed to decarbonize the American economy by meeting 100% of our energy demands with zero-emission sources in the next decade. It will require overhauling major industries like energy and agriculture, but also transforming America’s buildings and construction sector.

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Summer Living – Deck!

What a great project. We added a cedar deck with wrap-around step (which doesn’t require a railing). The covered area is clear rigid plastic and is waterproof. Which you’d want if you had a soft comfy BED on your deck!


Tillamook Ice Cream!

A Cool Treat for a Hot Day

Parker TillamookThe Tillamook Ice Cream Truck visited the HELP Team today and set up their ice cream cart in our parking lot for a couple hours. All customers and passersby, plus the HELP office staff, were treated to free ice cream treats..

The two wonderful Tillamook ice cream wranglers, Christy and Shelby, told us a few tales of life on the Ice Cream Trail and made all of us ice cream fanatics happy today!



Seismic Retrofits Increase

Simpson-UFPThe H.E.L.P. Team has seen a significant uptick in the number of Seismic Retrofits. Clean Energy Works now can incorporate seismic strengthening into projects as a home safety and health measure. H.E.L.P. will plan your project using the City of Portland Building Development published guidelines for prescriptive seismic strengthening. We employ recommended processes, plus recommended hold-downs, anchor bolts, etc., as detailed in the guidelines. We’ll draw the plans, acquire the permit and schedule the final inspection.

Benefits to Seismic Strengthening

Your home will be:

  • Safer to live in
  • Easier to sell
  • Easier to insure



Sunshine Division Project

Sunshine Division Before

Sunshine Division Before

Sunshine Division was feeling the cold… and the heat in the summer. Established by then-mayor of Portland George Baker and citizen volunteers in 1923, the Sunshine Division provides food, clothing and assistance to Portlanders in need. The charity first found a home on the second floor of the East Precinct station at SE 7th & Alder. In 1938 it moved into a recently vacated police precinct station at 38 NE Russell Street, then to their current location at 687 N. Thompson St. in 1975. The warehouse was constructed in 1929 and so were the very large, multiple-section windows.

Sunshine Division After

Sunshine Division After

Renee LaC​h​ance, owner and construction manager of Sustainable Adaptations LLC, linked up with Milgard Windows & Doors and H.E.L.P Group Inc., to organize replacement of 36 windows. Thanks to Milgard’s generous window donation and H.E.L.P.’s special low-cost installation, the Sunshine Division warehouse now has new double pane vinyl “Montecito” windows at UF .30-or-better. H.E.L.P’s expert installation team repaired sills and replaced framing where necessary, and now the building’s exterior sports 36 high-performing windows with a new, clean look. What do you think of these gorgeous before-and-after pictures?

Milgard Moving Glass Wall

Beautiful Milgard Moving Glass Wall Systems. In Stacked, Bi-Fold, or Pocket styles. Not your average patio doors.

A seamless transition from inside to outside. A very beautiful window on the world.

Our Certified Window Team

The H.E.L.P. Team Masters a Window Installation Dace 09 Hammer 2013

When you have your windows replaced by our team, you get:
EXPERT ADVICE:  windows that meet your requirements for performance and design
LEAD-SAFE WORK:  proscribed containment methodology
AN EXPERIENCED TEAM:  certified Master Installers by American Architectural Manufacturers Association
THOROUGH CLEAN-UP:  we take pride in leaving a clean and neat job site
LIFETIME WARRANTY:  all Milgard windows carry a Lifetime Warranty

Angel David 04 Window 2013

David 04 Window 2013


Milgard Wty

HELP Goes to Austria

Well, anyway, Parker went to Austria. He and his wife Caitlin took a trip to Vienna and Austria’s wine country. Here he is in his HELP shirt, looking like he misses the window business a little!Parker in Austria

Earth Day 1970

Check out the great photo – some of the pioneers of the early environmental movement. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had sold 500,000 by 1970 and did much to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.

Many Oregonians will remember the days before Oregon’s Bottle Bill passed in 1971. Oregon had already set up a voluntary bottle return system that kids in the 1950s and 1960s depended on for pocket money. Returned beer cans paid a penny each, and soda bottles and cans netted out three cents apiece. At the time, bottles and cans accounted for 40% of the litter on Oregon’s roadsides, so it wasn’t hard for sharp-eyed kids to make three or four dollars a week that way!

Since then, 10 states plus Guam have emulated Oregon and have similar bottle return laws in place.

Oregon, always a leader in environmental and energy usage concerns, continues to lead by example with Home Performance testing, retrofits, state tax credits and programs that encourage and assist homeowners in improving their home’s energy consumption and comfort!


Earth Day 1970