Ladies and gentlemen, William McDonough

Some of our Pringle Creek Team (see below) went to the NAHB National Green Building Conference in St. Louis to accept The Award. As part of that, they got to hear a presentation by William McDonough, a designer and author of “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,” (which was already listed in our Book Selections).

The video above, a fascinating and inspiring talk given by McDonough in 2000, was brought to our attention by Opsis architect Mark Kogut. The talk is on “the concept of design,” and McDonough is talking about design in a big way--designing solutions to humanity's worst problems. He says one of the fundamental questions designers must ask themselves over and over is "How do we love all of the children of all species for all time?" If you would rather read a transcript than watch the video, it's here.


A W A R D !

Not much to say about Pringle Creek getting the National Association of Home Builders' Green Land Development Project of the Year award that isn't covered in our press release except yippee!

Don Myers, Mark Kogut, James Meyer


The first of many

Construction of the first home at Pringle Creek Community has begun! This "cottage home" will be a leading example of green home design. It will be 25% more energy efficient than a typical home built to the current energy code requirements—by using special framing, geo-thermal heating, natural ventilation and other means.

This cottage will be featured on the 2007 Tour of Homes, in June. It won’t be too long before one or more of the other types of homes--Row House, Tall House, Side-by-Side, Net-Zero, and Live-Work—will be under construction.

Click here to go to a more informative item that is on the main Pringle Creek website.

Wow, the first home. In a few years, when there will be many homes, I think this one will still be special to me.

Don Myers


I resisted leaving my handprint

At this beautiful place we will enjoy our walks. Sidewalks and trails, by the creek, over to the Village Center. In the morning with the pooch, in the evening with the mate. Kids will be able to bike all over the place, including school, safely.

This week, North Santiam Paving poured concrete to create more than a thousand feet of sidewalks. These will connect to the greater system of walking trails.

And now all of the streetlights are installed. They will be lit up next week. Pringle Creek will be seen in the glow of its streetlights.

Don Myers


Getting closer

The photo shows yours truly signing a "mylar" copy of the subdivision plat down at the City of Salem this morning. This a key step on the road to legal status for all the lots at Pringle Creek Community, hence the smile. It's not always easy to do something very creative--but well worth it. The rewards will be all around us as we create one the most sustainable communties in the country!

The mylar is the reproducible original plan that is kept at the County Recorder's office. Our Pringle Creek team has been working for two years toward recording the mylar with the county. When the last formal hurdles are cleared, people will be able to begin buying lots and building homes. We’re almost there. The final work by the City surveyor should be completed early next week, then the city signs, then the county signs, then . . . we're off and running!

Don Myers

The economic gold of the times

This piece from American Prospect Online, Sustainable Cities: Smart growth is newly fashionable. But what will it take to turn fashion into national policy? touches on issues I think are very compelling (as did this article, where Oregon business leaders described "Sustainability as Oregon's Brand and Niche," written about in this blog post). Peirce is a highly regarded Washington Post columnist on community and development issues.

From Philadelphia to Seattle, Boston to San Diego, city officials agree that green urban settings are a critical draw in an era when highly educated, mobile professional workers -- the economic gold of the times -- gravitate to attractive, welcoming, and healthy places.

What's more, claim the apostles of green, property tax yields from homes and apartments near parks are significantly higher. Tree-lined streets alone increase property values some 15 percent.

Quite quickly in this decade, the familiar definition of "green" has advanced from trees and plants and parks to a much more inclusive vision of city and metropolitan planning. Moreover, it now comprises an array of environmental issues . . .

Smart Growth, sustainable development, watershed restoration, green building, parks, walkable neighborhoods, mixed-use, placemaking: this is happening in places all over the world. Cities and regions are competing to attract educated workers and creative citizens with commitments to the environment and the social fabric of their communities.When it's all connected it produces even more value and will be a revolution in how we build and develop our communities. Pringle Creek is putting it all together and is on the leading edge.


New developments at Pringle Creek

Submitted by Don Myers

A lot of progress is being made at Pringle Creek everyday. 1) The Village Green is being created even as 2) we prepare to put in the beautiful porous concrete streets of the Village Center. This concrete product (from local environmental innovator, Scott Erickson) will function ecologically like our pervious asphalt. It will also define the urban Village with a material that is more like a plaza or patio than a residential street. This is just a small example of the thought and passion that go into every decision here at Pringle Creek.

3) Unique street lights are now installed and line our main street, Village Center Drive. They certainly tell visitors that this is a special place. The streetlights are made of recycled steel and use energy efficient light bulbs.

4) Pringle Creek has hired Paco Sanchez as our site manager. Paco is a dynamic new team member. He will be working with James "Santiago" Santana (Director of the Sustainable Living Center) and coordinating special projects like the regeneration of the greenhouses and the creation of the sawdust fuel staging area for our Forest Stewardship Council certified lumber over the coming months.

5) And the BIGGEST NEWS yet: Larry and Blake Bilyeu have begun construction of the first home at Pringle Creek Community! This 1,350 square foot "Cottage Home" is located in the West End neighborhood on Cousteau Street and will be featured on the 2007 Tour of Homes. In addition to a simple and elegant floor plan, this home will have geothermal heating and cooling, an advanced framing wall system, and cellulose and high density foam insulation that will exceed Earth Advantage criteria. This first home will be followed over the coming weeks by model homes representing each of the five other housing types at Pringle Creek: Side-by-Side, Tall House, Row House, Net-Zero, and Live-Work. Please join us in creating this remarkable sustainable community.

Streetlight going up (click to enlarge photos)