The house-designers of the future

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You might recall a previous item in which Santiago told us about West Linn fifth graders that visited Pringle Creek. They were working on a project to design “the house of the future.” The kids’ efforts have gotten some coverage in the Wilsonville Spokesman. The article, “Building spaces,” talks about advantages of the project-based learning method–and the visit to Pringle Creek:

. . . Over 100 students in all are currently engaged in the research, mathematics and problem-solving skills required to design and construct a house with a footprint no bigger than 2,000 square feet.

The students are not designing and building just any homes, either. Instead, the project is inspired by the Pringle Creek Community, a sustainable planned development currently being undertaken in Salem by a team of designers and architects from Salem, Portland and even Vancouver, B.C.

The project integrates the latest green building technologies, with at least some of the homes being so-called net-zero dwellings because of their capacity to produce more electricity through solar panels than they consume.

Students visited Pringle Creek to examine what a green community actually looks like. Afterward, they began viewing their own homes and communities with the same issues in mind.

“The kids really got into the research as they’ve seen these issues in a personal way,” Locke said.