Living Green: 2013 Green and Solar Tour This Saturday

2013 Green & Solar Tour- Moda BuildingAs the green-building movement continues to grow in popularity, so does Bend’s “Green and Solar Tour,” which takes place in Bend this Saturday. Sponsored by The High Desert Branch of Cascadia Green Building Council (a program of the International Living Future Institute, which promotes and supports LEED and is an advocate for progressive green building laws, regulations and incentives), the free tour is designed to showcase some of the area’s most innovative sustainable building designs.

This year’s tour includes five high-profile commercial buildings, along with five distinctive homes. The common thread among all 10 projects is that they’ve incorporated a variety of state-of-the-art green-building techniques and materials worth emulating.

For example, the entire five-story, 88,000-square-foot Moda Health Building near the Old Mill (360 SW Bond St.) is certified LEED Gold New Construction – Core and Shell; its second floor is certified LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors. (LEED, which is short for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is considered the international gold standard of green-building certification programs.) But the element that will draw many tour participants is the building’s green roof, which features native plants and xeriscaping (design that’s suited for arid climates and requires little watering). Not only does the green roof provide an appealing outdoor space, but it also offers expansive views of the Cascade Mountains.

Then there’s Worthy Brewing Co. (495 NE Bellevue Dr.). The popular brewpub’s out-of-the-ordinary green elements include 9,000 board feet of reclaimed “Cuckoo” wood from the former Oregon State Insane Asylum in Salem. The building also features passive solar design, a 27.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic solar-panel system, solar thermal water heating and a high-efficiency steam boiler. Some organic waste is sent to Worthy’s partner pig farm, Lemke Berkshire Farms; the rest is sent to a local ranch as feed or to a local farm.

2013 Green & Solar Tour- Desert Rainincluded among the five residences featured on the tour is a home, known as “Desert Rain,” that was designed and built to the most sustainable standards to date. It’s only one of a handful of homes in the world that have attempted to adhere to the strict green design and building guidelines of the Living Building Challenge. As such, the three-year project (22 NE Shasta Ave.) features 100 percent net zero energy (meaning it produces as much energy as it uses), it has 100 percent rainwater collection, processes 100 percent of its wastewater and is carbon neutral.

There’s also an example of the many green-building techniques that can be incorporated into a remodel. The entire building envelope of the Kaloy Residence (23030 Butterfield Trail) was upgraded. It has new insulation in the walls, floors and roof, it has new windows and doors, and new electrical and solar thermal water-heating systems. The result: energy usage has been reduced by 50 percent.

To get a firsthand glimpse of a green-built home under construction, check out the Brecke Residence (2586 Cousins Pl.), which incorporates clerestory windows, 8-inch-thick walls and structurally insulated roof planes to maximize heat gain and retention.

For those interested in learning more about green-building practices, the tour will open with two presentations at the COCC Health Careers Center. From 8:30-10:30 a.m., keynote speakers Erica Dunn, design team manager for Green Hammer, and Ralph DiNola, executive director of the New Buildings Institute, will discuss some of the challenges in meeting the net-zero challenge. (By the way, last year, Portland Monthly named DiNola one of Portland’s 50 Most Influential People).

Then, from 10:30-am-5 p.m., the 10 buildings will be open for touring.

Here’s a map of the tour.

 

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