Friends of ours

An article about Pringle Creek Community is in the Fall 2008 issue of Landmark magazine. The article is on pages 16 and 17. Landmark is the quarterly publication of 1000 Friends of Oregon.

Tom McCall and the organization he co-founded, 1000 Friends of Oregon, are pillars of environmental stewardship and smart planning in Oregon. Consider attending this upcoming event: Executive Director Bob Stacey reviews priorities for coming legislative session, January 7, 11:30 a.m. at Mission Mill.

Gov. Tom McCall (left) and Secretary of State Clay Myers in a photo related to Oregon's Bottle Bill circa 1971 [before the era of political stagecraft, apparently].


Goodall students at Pringle Creek for annual stream health analysis

Update: On Dec. 24 the Statesman Journal ran an article on this, "Students helping study water quality."

Students from Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School and Karen Hans from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife came out for their annual fish and macro-invertebrate count. These students are comparing stream health & fish population in various waterways throughout the City of Salem. The big catch of the day was a very large cutthroat trout!

Students set up nets upstream and downstream, then wade through the creek catching fish.

Then they identified and documented each species before setting them free.

They also went through to catch insects; there is a significant correlation between the number of insect species and the presence of fish in any stream. Here they are dividing the macro-invertebrate water samples and identifying them.

They captured a good sized cutthroat trout! Pretty amazing given that we are just three miles from downtown.

Group photo under the Pacific Yew.



Photo log

The new dry-creek landscaping at the Wilson’s Tallhouse was designed by their son, Andy Wilson. His web site is: http://www.awlandscapedesign.com/. That’s Alan up at the top right putting Christmas lights up.

Paco just finished laying the stones for this common pathway through what will be a cluster of five homes. The stones came locally from Rickreall.

These garages serve a cluster of five cottage homes. They have FSC cedar rain screen siding, and will soon have a 1,500 sqft greenroof, which extends the life of the roof, absorbs and treats rainfall during a storm event, helps insulate the structure for heat and cold, and provides diverse habitat for insects and wildlife.

This is Mark, our mailman! Very friendly guy, loves the project and eagerly awaits more residents to deliver mail to. He especially likes the idea of a central gathering place for mail pickup at Painter’s Hall (less driving!).



Opsis and Nathan Good win design awards

Opsis Architecture and Nathan Good each won a first place Root Award, a Portland Spaces magazine design competition "celebrating Portland innovation, creativity and craftsmanship."

Opsis, the Portland firm of Pringle Creek masterplanner James Meyer (more about Opsis and James here) won the "Landscape/Community" category for Firstenburg Community Center.

Situated on a 10-acre parcel, the Firstenburg Community Center straddles two distinct worlds: a developing commercial street with strip malls and a verdant residential neighborhood. The east Vancouver, Washington, facility has two primary components: a single-level community wing and a vast recreational area with lofted ceilings. The community wing, which houses an indoor aquatic playground, acts as a protective park environment buffered from traffic noise and east winds.

Salem architect Nathan Good, who has collaborated with Pringle Creek Community on designs for carbon neutral homes, won top honors in the "House" category. The Cannon Beach area home is shown on the cover of the December issue of Portland Spaces. Nathan and the home were written about in the New York Times in January 2007 (discussed here). A comment about the house on the website: “Very Oregonian, very green, very beautiful in a timeless, earthy way.” —Iris Harrell

Congratulations to Nathan Good and James Meyer/Opsis.


Cottage Home wins award from Builder magazine

Builder magazine, one of the nation's top magazines in the industry, has published the winners of its 2008 Builder’s Choice Awards. Among the Grand Award Winners, from all over the United States: the Pringle Creek Cottage.

CATEGORY: Production/Semi-custom, less than 2,000 square feet
ENTRANT/ARCHITECT: Opsis Architecture, Portland, Ore.
BUILDER: Bilyeu Homes, Salem, Ore.
DEVELOPER: Sustainable Development, Salem

Simple in form (and therefore easy to build and easy to insulate), the home achieves significant energy savings through natural lighting and ventilation, a geothermal heat pump system, and solar roof panels. Because every design element had the potential to ­affect the energy efficiency of the home, design strategies had to have multiple benefits. “There’s more daylight in the house, the air is fresher, it’s healthier, and it’s more comfortable,” says Meyer. “This is not about compromising."

Speaking of energy efficient homes, the Oregonian ran an article on Nov. 10, "Energy Efficiency Moving Into Homes", with this homebuilder quote: Just as with car buyers, home buyers "don't want to feel like they're getting a house that's like yesterday's SUV. They want to feel like they're getting a leading-edge, efficient product."

Pringle Creek is a leader in energy-efficiency. As energy prices rise and consumers look for more durable homes and vibrant neighborhoods, Pringle Creek will continue to lead with our commitments to stewardship and community.


Photo log

Paco and Santiago finishing up the glass roofs on the greenhouses--several hundreds of pieces of glass later!
These incredible Lord & Burnham greenhouses were original to the site and are getting a total restoration, to be completed this month.
The interior of the small greenhouse, which is 100ft x 20ft. These concrete supports will have new wood benches for growing year-round lettuce greens and herbs.
There are so many contrasting colors here in the fall, from the reds in the blueberry bushes to the pale yellow of these catalpas.
Raingardens throughout the community help absorb and filter excess stormwater. Not only are they functional, but also aesthetically pleasing, providing year-round lush greenery and interesting textures at every intersection.
There are quiet places along Pringle Creek perfect for reflection. Living near a body of water like this is a great asset.
The upper reach of the creek is perfect habitat for all sorts of fish and wildlife. We’ve had kingfishers, herons, and even trout and salmon in this section of Pringle Creek.
When Barb moves in this month, she will probably be able to listen to the creek from her bedroom window.
Or she can sit at her back patio and listen to it.
Here is her new home, built by father-son duo Blake and Larry Bilyeu of Bilyeu Homes here in Salem. That’s Blake standing at the front porch.
Paco doing work on the tractor, as always using B100 biodiesel.



Everyone wins Battle of the Locavore

We had about 50 people for this awesome local foods potluck. Thanks to everyone who came. Talk about a gathering of wonderful people. Special thanks to Chris, Evann, Chris & Elizabeth, and Luca for putting it all together. Also a big thanks to the sponsors--they provided the great prizes--Lifesource Natural Foods, Minto Island Growers, St. Innocent Wine, Organic Fresh Fingers, and Oregon Tilth.

And the winners were . . .

Hugo wins 1st place for his wild mushroom pizza

Gino wins 2nd place for pesto pasta

The Shreiners win 3rd for their goat cheese basil tomato
Ingrid wins best all Marion County

Stephanie wins best desert
Bill wins best hunter gatherer grower

Click here for more photos

If you want to join Salem Locavores or get more information, check out their page at google groups.



Home tour great success, thanks to sponsors, homeowners

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Green + Solar Home Tour a success!

In particular, thanks to our homeowners for opening their doors, showing everyone the ecologically-friendly designs and products in their homes, and sharing their knowledge and experiences.

And many thanks to the sponsors. This event would not have been possible without their support and participation: Marion County Public Works Environmental Services, Energy Trust of Oregon, Earth Advantage, Portland General Electric, Straub Environmental Learning Center, Pringle Creek Community, Nathan Good Architect, Salem AIA, Lifesource Natural Foods, Neil Kelly, DeSantis Landscapes, Taylor Metal, BAM Agency, Wild Pear, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Black’s Construction, Bilyeu Homes, Spectra Construction, Glen Rea Construction, City of Salem, Shelterworks, Solar Oregon, and Oregon Department of Energy.


Morning presentation by Andrew Shepard from Earth Advantage, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Green Remodeling”Two of the five “Homes of the Future” currently on display at Pringle Creek (created by 5th Graders from Wilsonville-West Linn School District after visiting Pringle Creek
Tour-goers visiting the cottage
Nathan, Larry, and Jackie admiring April Waters’ most recent painting

Green jobs coming to Salem

Recent Statesman Journal article: City aims to become hub in green jobs Attracting Sanyo's solar-cell plant may be first step to goal

Sanyo's coming to Salem is a great step to a better future. They will build an $80 million solar-cell manufacturing plant at the new Salem Renewable Energy and Technology Park at 5475 Gaffin Road SE. Two hundred "green jobs" producing high tech components for renewable energy--it reflects the growing recognition that we need to be more responsible in our stewardship of the environment, our community and economy.

Pringle Creek Community is excited about this successful recruitment and that Salem, and Oregon, aspire to foster green products and services. This is Oregon taking advantage of its environmentalist brand and becoming a center for green manufacturing. As PV Tech online magazine puts it, More Trees Planted in Oregon's Solar Forest:

The news that Sanyo plans to build a silicon ingot and wafer manufacturing facility in Salem, OR, is the latest solar win for the northwest U.S. state, which has become one of the country's major photovoltaic manufacturing areas. Published reports suggest that several companies are looking hard at Oregon for their planned facilities, as the state continues its quest for renewable-energy industrial development.

This article goes on to talk about Solaicx (Portland) and Peak Sun Silicon (Salem) making next-generation polysilicon, Solar World (Hillsboro and Vancouver) and now Sanyo fabricating ingots and wafers, Solar World and Intel spinout SpectraWatt (Hillsboro) building or ramping solar-cell production plants, and thin-film PV start-up XsunX (Portland).


New Pringle Creek houses on Green + Solar Tour

In anticipation of the 2008 Green + Solar tour on October 4 the Statesman Journal ran a nice article, "Shades of Green," in their Real Living section. The article includes several photos of houses that will be on the tour, including the photo below.

Salem's tour is one of more than a dozen around the state this fall designed to show off solar energy and green living and part of the National Solar Tour day Oct. 4. The nonprofit Solar Oregon touts Oregon's tours as the biggest events of their kind in the nation.

The event is a great opportunity to learn about sustainable living, said James Santana, director of education and community development at Pringle Creek Community.

"It's homeowners talking to other homeowners, learning from one another," he said.

Susan and Alan Wilson's kitchen includes Energy Star appliances and sustainable materials including recycled-glass countertops and Forest Steward Council-certified wood floors

Here is sign-up information, here is the Green + Solar Tour web page.


Another top ten award for Pringle Creek

Our Pringle Creek Cottage won an award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA Seattle's contest, called "What Makes It Green," judged 60 submissions from all over the northwest and pacific regions--entries from from Montana to Hong Kong. About the Cottage Home the jury said:

This project has it all. The individual strengths of the project (small footprint, cistern) and the use of green infrastructure on a community level makes this an exemplary exercise in sustainable development.

Click here for the 34-page online magazine (pdf). The "Top Ten Regional Green Awards" article is on page 25, the Pringle Creek item is on page 29.

About the contest: "In an age where green is on everyone’s mind, finding answers to the question “what makes it green?” has moved beyond a simple introduction of green building practice to become an insistent drive for excellence. . .
Jury members began looking beyond certification metrics to focus on how regenerative the project was in its entirety, environmentally and for communities. Questions included: How does the project use a variety of innovative yet replicable strategies to reduce energy consumption and its carbon footprint, to generate its own power or move towards zero energy consumption and climate health? Do we hold all projects to the same standard or should they be considered in context of local precedents? Which projects provide opportunities for continual learning, both for the users and for the larger design, planning and engineering community? What do they or will they provide in terms of “collective wisdom?”

Here are the ten winners, in alphabetical order:

Bertschi School, Seattle WA
Center for Urban Waters, Tacoma WA
Corvallis CoHousing, Corvallis OR
Home on the Range, Billings MT
Kitsap SEED, Bremerton WA
Lake Sammamish Park, Issaquah WA
Mosler Lofts, Seattle WA
Portland City Storage, Portland OR
Pringle Creek, Salem OR
Staley-Vidas Residence, Bend OR


Statesman Journal's green business section

The Salem Statesman Journal devoted their recent "Inside Business" section to articles about greening businesses. Prominent was this piece written by Pringle Creek Masterplan Coordinator Tony Nielsen. In the article Tony praised a number of the local businesses that have been part of the project. Tony mentioned DeSantis Landscaping ("a leader in green landscapes and maintenance services"), Evolution Paving Resources ("a leader in pervious concrete applications"), O'Neil Pine Co. and Withers Lumber ("partnering to ensure a steady flow of Forest Stewardship Council-certified lumber"), North Santiam Paving (which "demonstrated ingenuity when it came up with the idea of reusing some concrete beams to build a small bridge over the creek"), and builders Blake and Larry Bilyeu and Spectra Construction (who "have brought knowledge and passion for green building techniques to the homes at Pringle Creek").


Web article praises community-building at Pringle Creek

A new web article on the Worldchanging site, "Outside Ideas: Sustainable Community at Pringle Creek" is very complimentary:

But these building components do not themselves alone create communities that are exciting, inclusive and rooted places for people to live. In my own experience as a professional planner, I have been involved with a number of green building projects and innovative neighborhood developments, but when it comes to successfully creating a sustainable community, only one stands above the rest.

The Pringle Creek sustainable development in Salem, Ore. offers much more than your conventional residential subdivision; it offers individuals the chance to be part of a community.

The author of the article, Ashley Deforest, used to work as a planner for the City of Salem. She is now up in Seattle and writes a blog called Urban Musings. Thanks, Ashley.


September 28 event, you're invited!

Prepare yourselves for . . .

Join SALEM LOCAVORES for a local food potluck and cooking competition!

When: Sunday, September 28th at 4 p.m.
Where: Pringle Creek Community, 2110 Strong Rd. SE, Salem, OR 97302

Here’s what you do:
1. Prepare a dish of any kind, made with as many local ingredients as you can, to share with others at an awesome party.
2. If you would like to enter the competition for some very nice prizes you will also need to provide an ingredient list and brief narrative about your dish!

People’s Choice Awards given to:
● Battle of the Locavore Award (First, Second and Third Places)
● Best All-Marion County Award (100% ingredients sourced from Marion County only)
● Best Hunter-Gatherer-Grower Award (100% ingredients grown, gathered or hunted by contestant)
● Best Local Dessert Award

How to register:
RSVP and join SALEM LOCAVORES at http://groups.google.com/group/Salem-Locavores or you can RSVP by emailing Salem-Locavores@googlegroups.com or by leaving a message at 503-763-1770. You must RSVP to enter the competition!

What is a locavore?
People who prefer to eat food that is grown and purchased as close to home as possible (around 100 mile radius).

Why eat local?
1. Strengthens our economy
2. Reduces our carbon footprint
3. Builds a stronger community
4. Tastes way better!

Resources to help:
● Oregon Farmers' Markets: directory listing of all farmers' markets by region & city http://www.oregonfarmersmarkets.org
● Local Harvest: searchable directory to find family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area http://www.localharvest.org
● Oregon Tilth: searchable directory of certified organic farms and processors http://www.tilth.org
Seasonal Recipes: http://www.wisefoodways.com/recipes/
● A 100-mile radius map: http://100milediet.org/get-started/map
● The Locavore website: http://www.locavores.com/

This event brought to you by SALEM LOCAVORES, a group of food enthusiasts supporting local farms and economies, eating fresh seasonal foods, and providing opportunities for education and community celebration. To join, share recipes and local food sources, and for more information, go to http://groups.google.com/group/Salem-Locavores


Pringle Creek featured in Environmental Design + Construction magazine

Here is the latest magazine article about Pringle Creek Community.
It is in a special issue of Environmental Design + Construction magazine, their annual "LEED" issue. The article focuses on Pringle Creek's LEED Platinum (and award-winning) Cottage Home.

SDI went all out for the first house completed at the development, known as the Learning Home. It was the first house in the Pacific Northwest to earn LEED Platinum certification and just the sixth in the country. It earned 103 points, which was, as of June 2007, a record. The house also won a silver EnergyValue Housing Award in the Custom home category at the February 2008 ceremony in Orlando.

The Learning Home, a “cottage style” house (other styles in the development include row homes, live/work studio lofts, single family homes, attached houses and “tall” houses), is currently being monitored for performance by the Oregon Department of Energy.

The article is also available online in “magazine format.” Click here and see that the front cover is the elegant photo below of the Cottage House, taken by professional photographer Visko Hatfield. The article is pages 108 to 116 (in the "LEED Guide" part of the magazine). To get there quick, put your cursor in the page number at the top (0/148) and type in “108” and you’ll go right to it.


Photo log

These detached garages will serve the small cluster of five cottages. They will have cedar siding and a green roof, to be installed this fall.

This is the pump house for the ground source district heating and cooling system (those are pressure tanks on the inside). It will also have cedar siding and a green roof.

Artichokes in the garden!

We are currently restoring these incredible greenhouses, which were built by Lord & Burnham in the '20s or '30s. This is the trench for the utilities.

We’ll begin installing glass in mid-July, to be completed by this Fall in time to extend the growing season indoors. Come by and check it out!

These massive catalpas are in bloom right now. The catalpa is not native to the NW but is a great shade tree (perfect for cooling the greenhouses) and is very fragrant this time of year.