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As a design-build firm committed to reversing climate change, we see tremendous value for our clients in creating healthy buildings that are third-party certified as being built to a high standard. Ambitious green building and energy efficiency standards for homes and buildings such as Living Building ChallengeTMLEED®FSC®Passive HouseNet Zero EnergyEarth Advantage inform how we (re)create spaces to function as healthy living systems. Green building standards define the market perception of energy efficient homes and green buildings, and are positively transforming our built environment.


Living Building Challenge

Buildings Are Living Systems


The Living Building Challenge is the world's most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. Created and administered by the International Living Future Institute, this standard challenges designers and green builders to create buildings that are:

  • Regenerative spaces that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature and community.
  • Self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site. Living Buildings produce more energy than they use and collect and treat all water on site.
  • Creating a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them.
  • Places that last. Living Buildings need to be designed to operate for a hundred year's time.
  • Healthy and beautiful.

To achieve Living Building Challenge certification, a project must meet 20 imperatives, including net-zero energy, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy. Green Hammer is committed to bringing the Living Building Challenge to the Portland and Ashland regions in Oregon. Green Hammer designed and built Oregon’s first Living Building Challenge-certified commercial building — a tasting room and cold storage facility at Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden in Jacksonville, Oregon. Through aggressive energy efficiency and water conservation measures, the tasting room uses a fraction of the energy that a typical commercial building uses. What little energy it uses is provided by rooftop solar panels. Learn what it takes to achieve the Living Building Challenge in this case study about the Tasting Room at Cowhorn. 




Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED)®

High Performance Green Building Standard


Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® is the most widely recognized global standard and certification for green buildings. LEED can be applied to all buildings, including homes, mixed-use and commercial building, interior design upgrades and full neighborhoods. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas, including energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality, transportation and more. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

In the first few years of business, Green Hammer built five of the nation's highest scoring LEED Platinum buildings, and continues to surpass LEED certification standards for indoor air quality and other measures in Oregon. We also welcome the opportunity to work on LEED neighborhoods and LEED commercial projects in Portland Oregon.

Learn more about LEED by reading this case study about the Fineline Custom Home in Oregon, which is LEED-Platinum certified.




Earth Advantage

Certification for Healthy Built Environments


Every person deserves to know the financial, physical and environmental impact of the building in which they live and work. Based in Portland, Oregon and serving most of the West Coast, Earth Advantage is accelerating the availability of sustainable homes for everyone. 

The nonprofit increases the knowledge of green building professionals, architects, designers, engineers, builders and real estate professionals across the country by conducing research, providing consulting services and delivering educational workshops. Green Hammer founder and CEO, Stephen Aiguier, teaches the six-month intensive Earth Advantage Sustainable Homes Professional(SHP) accredited course. Each of the six monthly modules can be taken individually and each module provides participants with an opportunity to gain valuable insights and eliminate common barriers to high performance building via: The Sustainable Homes Professional course includes six sessions:

  • Building science fundamentals & moisture management
  • High performance wall & roof assemblies 
  • HVAC product selection & integrated system design
  • Water conservation techniques
  • Indoor air quality, green material considerations & health impacts
  • Local green/energy efficiency building programs & incentives

Earth Advantage provides a suite of residential green building certifications, including Earth Advantage Home Certification, Passive House (PHIUS+), LEED® for Homes and Earth Advantage Net Zero Energy. It also provides Earth Advantage Commercial certification for new commercial buildings less than 50,000 square feet that meet specific green building measures. Learn more about Earth Advantage Commercial certification in this blog post about The Breathe Building in Portland. In 2014, Green Hammer was recognized by Earth Advantage as LEED® for Homes Builder of the Year.




Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)®

The Responsible Choice For Our Natural Forests

Established in 1993, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)® is an international nonprofit, multi-stakeholder organization dedicated as an environmental stewardship program to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC is comprised of an economic, social and environmental chamber that includes the world’s most significant environmental nonprofits. FSC provides independent certification and labeling of forest products starting at the forest level and continuing for each entity along the manufacturing and distribution supply chain, forming a complete chain of custody. This offers consumers worldwide the ability to choose sustainable products made by companies who voluntarily support socially and environmentally responsible forestry.

Committed to Purchasing FSC in Portland Oregon

In the building industry, using FSC certified wood is the best choice we have for supporting the restoration of natural forests, throughout Oregon, and globally. Green Hammer is committed to environmental stewardship and is a long-time member of the Forest Stewardship Council. We strive to build primarily with FSC-certified wood products. Green Hammer has an ultimate goal to eventually use FSC-certified wood exclusively in the design and construction of all buildings that we design and build in Portland Oregon. In 2008 and 2013, Green Hammer was recognized by FSC for its commitment to designing and building with FSC-certified products. 





Every Drop Matters

The average family of four uses 400 gallons of water, or the equivalent of 10 baths, each day. As climate change continues to impact the global water cycle, water conservation will become increasingly important. When it comes to water, small actions can add up to big savings. As the first WaterSense partner in Portland Oregon, Green Hammer has been a longtime leader in water conservation and greywater recycling. Green Hammer has always promoted the value of water conservation by incorporating WaterSense-certified products into every healthy home and commercial building we design-build.

In addition to promoting WaterSense products, we have developed and built numerous cost-effective potable rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and greywater recycling systems. Learn how we helped one couple in Portland, Oregon, achieve their net zero water and net zero energy goals