The Portland Tribune, Oct 8, 2009

 

(news photo)

RENDERING BY BONN DESIGN

Artists rendering of Juneberry Lane.

The Clackamas Community Land Trust broke ground in late September on 12 homes in Oregon City designed to be affordable and earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum rating, a set of green building standards.

Homeowners in the Juneberry Lane community will enjoy common garden space, a rain harvesting and irrigation system, central mailboxes and community bulletin board area, plus construction methods that optimize energy efficiency.

Working through the land trust, buyers with modest incomes can acquire one-story, three bedroom homes for an estimated $124,000.

Juneberry is the first certified Earth Advantage Community — a designation based on a new set of green standards set by Portland-based Earth Advantage Institute with support from the Energy Trust of Oregon.

The institute, an independent nonprofit, has certified more than 11,000 new homes.

Kudos for Intel, Nike

Intel ranked fourth-highest and Nike seventh-highest on Newsweek magazine’s Green Rankings of the nation’s 500 largest companies. Precision Castparts scored a lowly 466th.

After a one-year research project, the newsweekly ranked companies based on their environmental policies and reputation.

Intel was cited as the nation’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, buying the equivalent of 46 percent of its domestic energy use from renewable sources. The Silicon Valley-based chipmaker, which has its largest base of operations in the Hillsboro area, also scored high for promoting energy efficiency, efforts to reduce toxic waste and tying employee bonuses to sustainability goals.

Nike, based in unincorporated Washington County, was cited for its environmental code of conduct at 650 contract factories in 52 nations. The magazine also noted Nike efforts to promote use of organic cotton and reduce packaging waste.

Precision Castparts, based in Milwaukie, scored the lowest of 21 corporations in the transportation and aerospace sectors.

Solar illuminates flag

The stars and stripes flying at the National Guard’s Camp Withycombe in Clackamas are now being lit at night by six solar panels.

“The Oregon Military Department is actively evaluating alternative energy sources to provide power in its facilities,” says Darrell Neet, facilities manager for 13 Northwest armories and training facilities. “Solar power to keep the flag illuminated at night is a perfect first test.”

Using solar panels saved at least $1,500 on new circuitry and conduit.

Luring “smart grid” business

The Software Association of Oregon and Oregon Technology Business Center are trying to foster new business formation in the burgeoning “smart grid” field.

In their Oregon Smart Grid Startup Project, the two groups are hoping to bring together professionals and ideas to aid in new business development.

“Competitive times often require innovative approaches,” says James Mater, cofounder of QualityLogic and key organizer of the Smart Grid Startup Project. “If Oregon is to make a mark in smart grid technology, we must bring together the best and brightest this state has to offer.”

For more information, contact Mater at jmater@qualitylogic .com or 503-780-9796; Steve Morris at smorris@otbc.org 971-223-4661; or visit www.sao.org/resource/resmgr/Smart_Grid/Smart_Grid_-_Prospectus.pdf .

Tour cohousing communities

People interested in cohousing are invited to an all-day tour of five Portland cohousing projects. On Nov. 7, participants will board a bus and visit Columbia Ecovillage, Peninsula Park Commons, Daybreak Cohousing, Cascadia Commons and Trillium Hollow. Cost is $94 to $120, and includes lunch.

People who live in cohousing typically agree to live in a community where members share cooking, laundry and common areas and make major decisions as a group.

Past tours have included people from around the country interested in living in cohousing.

To register, visit www.cohousing.org/tours, or contact Neil Plancon at neil@cohousing.org.

Going solar

Businesses interested in adding solar power are invited to a free Solar Oregon workshop, on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon, at East Portland Community Center, 740 S.E. 106th Ave.

Participants will learn about available solar technologies; financial incentives, tax credits and ownership models; and case studies of businesses that have invested in solar.

For more information and to register, go to http://solaroregon.org/workshops.

Climate action day

Paddlers are invited to participate in a local event staged as part of the International Day of Climate Action. The nonprofit group 350.org is promoting activities around the world Oct. 24 to draw attention to global warming.

A local event, called River of Action, will include an assemblage of paddlers on the Willamette River, who will use their bodies to form a giant 350.

Scientists estimate that 350 parts per million is a safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the current level is 386 parts per million.

Local participants are invited to meet at the Portland Boathouse, 1515 S.E. Water Ave., just north of OMSI, at 11 a.m. Some kayaks will be available, but folks are urged to bring their own boats and other equipment.

Keen Inc., a Portland-based maker of footwear and other gear, is hosting a public pre-event party on Oct. 15, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., at their headquarters, 926 N.W. 13th Ave. That will feature live music, free beer and a film about climate change and kayaking.

 

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