Old or New, It Can Still Go Green

April 27, 2011

How old is the green building movement?

That’s hard to say. But even a hundred years ago, downtown Newberg and McMinnville planners were very “green” in some ways, according to board members of the Green Building Guild of Yamhill County.

They staged a tour last week of a perfect example – the Chehalem Parks and Recreation District’s 400,000-square-foot Chehalem Cultural Center, which recently underwent a partial renovation running more than $3 million. And in the process, they drew more than 100 guests, including many prospective members.

In the pre-automotive days of the late 1800s and early 1900s, towns radiated outward from a central core, ensuring easy walking access to key services, said Larry Anderson, who served as Newberg’s city engineer before launching his own engineering business.

He said towns were built with energy conservation in mind, and so were public buildings. They were designed to be easily heated and to be lit largely from natural sources through large windows.

Anderson, who sits on both the Green Guild and parks district boards, said the Cultural Center should tell us this: “The green development trend isn’t really an advance. It’s more of a retreat…

‘I think what you guys are doing here is awesome,’ marveled contractor Shan Stassens, who joins his wife and business partner Wendy on the Green Guild board.”

Excerpt, “Old or New, It Can Still Go Green,” News Register – April 27, 2011