Local sustainable home builders lead the way in the Bend Energy Challenge

By Saginaw Sunset

The people of Bend, Oregon are committed to creating a city that is as Earth friendly as it is people friendly. In the last few years, the city of Bend has witnessed great momentum in economic and structural growth, there also has been an influx of residents in the past 15 years.

The focus lies on creating an economically vital, transportation-efficient, sustainable, pedestrian and bike friendly community while staying conscious of the effects this growth has on the environment. The Saginaw Sunset Community is building impetus for clean, efficient and renewable energy in Bend by helping to dramatically reduce the community’s energy use and carbon footprint.

A national competition with the goal of reducing energy use named The Georgetown University Energy Prize is currently underway, in which 50 cities and counties across the U.S. are competing for the $5 million prize which will be awarded in 2017 to the winning community, who the front-runners in reducing their carbon footprint. Bend, Oregon is among the final 50 competitors.

Representing Bend in the competition is the Bend Energy Challenge (BEC) . The team represents Bend’s creative, competitive and entrepreneurial spirit to organize and progress towards clean, efficient and renewable energy in the community. Over the next 2+ years, the BEC will work to motivate residents of Bend to save energy and make their homes healthier and more energy efficient.

The Bend Environmental Center is heading up Bend’s representation in the competition, made up of a group of locals, who are committed to sustainability and seek to build a community in Bend that meets human needs equitably, lives within the planet’s ecological limits, and builds a prosperous economy for all.

“Achieving sustainability is no small task. So much needs to be done to tackle the big problems of our day—like climate change and the loss of biodiversity—problems rooted in individual daily choices and the systems and policies that influence them.  It can seem overwhelming. But that does not stop us. We cannot do it, but we can be part of the solution.”

Saginaw Sunset – A Part of the Solution

The Saginaw Sunset Community is an example of a development of local effort towards energy conservation and sustainability. This newly established community comprises of high performance custom homes that combine modern technology and careful planning to maximize comfort and energy use of every square foot of space.

According to Saginaw, each home is Earth Advantage and Energy Trust Certified, solar ready, features home monitoring, is oriented to maximize passive solar energy, includes high-efficiency windows for excellent temperature balance, features energy-saving window framing, includes high-efficiency insulation, uses thermal buffer construction, includes premium-draft barriers, uses advanced-lighting technology, features optimized comfort delivery and air flow and includes a high-tech furnace.

Jim Guild has been a resident of Bend and developer, building and remodeling homes for the past 30+ years. He and his wife, Nunzie Gould, together have a passion for building green, sustainable, eco-conscious homes of superior detail and craftsmanship.

“The Saginaw Sunset community is about the home building envelope, energy efficiency, renewable energy and air quality. It’s about water conservation, resource conservation – meaning preserving old-growth trees within the community. And it’s about being an urban infill development – staying in the heart of Bend instead of expanding the City’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).”

Jim and Nunzie are both active members of The Environmental Center of Central Oregon where Jim serves on the board of directors. They are also active advocates of The Bend Energy Challenge.

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