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Solar-Powered Painters Hall is a Net-Zero Community Center in Salem, Oregon
Painters Hall is a 100 percent solar-powered building nestled in the beautiful surroundings of quiet Pringle Creek community, in Salem, Oregon. The 80-year-old Painters Hall recently earned a LEED-Platinum, net-zero energy certification, and it also received an impressive ‘Petal Recognition’ under the Living Building Challenge. The building underwent an extensive renovation in 2010, and it recently became just one of two buildings in the country to receive the net-zero recognition after recent energy audits.
Originally built in 1932, Painters Hall was upgraded by Opsis Architecture. Net-zero means that a building meets its own energy needs through conservation and renewable energy production. To be officially awarded the net-zero certification, a building must have at least 12 months of operational data, and Painters Hall held its weight under the challenge.
Painters Hall is surrounded by green space and lawns that are relaxing spaces for visitors to enjoy, and the cafe team uses their solar panels to prepare what sounds like delicious “all-natural” menu. Furnished with an eclectic bunch of chairs and tables, the space is a redesign of the former state-owned facilities, where painters would work and store supplies and equipment. It still contains several leftover items salvaged from the renovation and uses old greenhouses to help the cafe team grow their own fruit and veggies for their meals.
Speaking to a local paper, a member of the Pringle Creek development team said that making the Hall a central point for the community was essential to the renovation. “The most important element of the certification is not solar panels or energy efficient systems, it’s community,” he said. “Community is probably the most valuable form of energy the building will give back over its lifetime.”
Images courtesy of Painters Hall
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