Recent events at Pringle Creek were great success

Thanks everyone who helped with last week’s events! Eric Corey Freed’s presentation was both entertaining (he has a hilarious and sarcastic sense of humor) and chilling (we were floored by the scientific evidence of human impact on the world). Thanks to the Salem Chapter of the AIA!

The workshop put on by the Natural Step was in-depth and very sophisticated. There were 35 professionals, ranging from the Executive Director of the Salem Art Association to the Green Building Coordinator for the Oregon Homebuilder's Association, all interested in incorporating principles of the Natural Step framework for sustainability into their business and personal lives.

The Oregon Environmental Council workshop on low-impact development had 40 attendees, mainly public works officials, city planners and local developers and contractors. Incredibly informative and engaging. Afterwards we had a tour of Pringle Creek, which was great. After spending hours talking about concepts, it’s great to step outside and experience the concepts in practice.

For last Saturday’s Salem Green + Solar Home Tour, we had 130 people, which was a pretty solid turnout. It was inspiring to see the things homeowners in Salem are doing, from ultra-airtight low energy construction to solar hot water systems to interiors finished with materials either FSC-certified, reclaimed, or made from recycled content. These homeowners are the pioneering leaders and visionaries of today, they are way ahead of the curve, and are inspiring others to do the same. Great event, all education-based, it’s our pleasure to host it each year. People really get a lot out of it. Thanks everyone!


The above-referenced events were held in the recently retrofitted Painter's Hall. Attendees were very impressed. Anyone interested in holding an event here should give a call to Sarah at the Pringle Creek office, 503-371-3790.

Below are some very recent photos showing some of the new construction.


Keeping Salem/Keizer Cool & Climate-Friendly: Creating Livable Communities Through Blueprint Planning

Event annnouncement: Join 1000 Friends of Oregon and Oregon Environmental Council’s Chris Hagerbaumer to find out about ways we can make Salem-Keizer a more sustainable, climate-friendly community.

To help Oregon meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets and create more livable communities, the newly created Task Force on Greenhouse Gas Emissions is considering strategies to reduce global warming pollution through smarter land use and transportation planning.

Come join the conversation about practical, common sense strategies to provide Oregon's fastest-growing communities with better transportation choices, lower household transportation costs and ways to make your neighborhood vibrant and healthy for our families and future generations. Event will also feature an introduction by Senate President Peter Courtney.

Join us to find out what you can do to help keep Salem/Keizer a cool place to live!

When: Wednesday, October 28, 6pm - 7:30pm

Where: Salem Central Library’s Anderson Room, 585 Liberty St SE, Salem

RSVP: Call or email Tara Sulzen, Field Organizer with 1000 Friends at tara@friends.org or call 503 497 1000 ext. 153.

Statesman Journal article on Green and Solar Tour

The article below was in the Statesman Journal on September 30 in anticipation of the Green and Solar Tour that took place last weekend.

Salem tour puts spotlight on eight sustainable homes

Event promotes solar energy and green living

By Stefanie Knowlton

Eight of Salem's most environmentally friendly homes will be open to the public Saturday for the Salem Green + Solar Home Tour.

The tour, now in its third year, shows off Salem's quiet green-building revolution, which includes everything from a 1946 farmhouse with solar panels to a home under construction that's set to be one of the most energy efficient in the country.

Sustainable homes make sense, especially in a struggling economy, said James Santana with Pringle Creek Community, which helped organize the tour.

"The basic tenants of sustainability, resource conservation, smart design, massive reductions in energy use, buying local products, could not be any more relevant than here and now."

The tour is one of 14 throughout the state this fall designed to promote solar energy and green living. They're a part of the National Solar Tour day Saturday. The nonprofit Solar Oregon touts Oregon's tours as the biggest events of their kind in the nation.

Salem resident Sally White is one of the stops on Salem's tour. White installed solar panels on her 900-square-foot farmhouse. She and her husband paid about $28,000 for the panels and a solar hot water heater, but they got nearly half that back in tax incentives this year and the rest will take care of itself in energy savings, Sally White said.

Their electric bills average about $5 in the summer and peak at $23 in January.

Other stops on the tour include Salem's first green roof, which uses living plants to clean runoff and cool the building, and one of the West Coast's first Passive House homes, which uses building techniques to create a nearly air-tight envelope for minimum heat loss. The result is so efficient that residents' body heat contribute a sizeable amount of the home's warmth.

Owners Sarah Evans and Stuart Rue are eager to share their home even if it's still six months away from completion.

Visitors will be able to see the bones of the house, Santana said, which is one of the most important aspects. That's where you can see the double frame that's key to its energy efficiency.

"It gives us the chance to understand how it works and gain an appreciation for why its design is so much smarter," Santana said.

sknowlto@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6735

Sally White's house on Wallace Road NW is one of eight featured in the third annual Salem Green + Solar Home Tour. Her rainwater-collecting tank gathered 400 gallons during Tuesday's rains alone.