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'Green building' contests are for kids, adults

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Helman Elementary School students Nicole Chappell and Riley Bright learn to tie mini straw bales during a visit to a house in Ashland being built in part with straw.
 Posted: 9:00 AM May 22, 2009

By John Darling

For the Tidings

Got a good design for a "green" home or building? You may be able to win a prize and some recognition for it.

The Sustainable Living Program, based in Ashland, is taking entries from students, professionals and others interested in either building a 2-foot-by-2-foot model or entering a completed structure.

Designers may enter models in the categories of elementary, middle school, high school, adult-college and professionals, using any materials. However, recycled materials are preferred, said contest organizer Shelley Lotz, director of SLP. No more than four students may work on one project — and the work should be done by students, not teachers or adults.

You also may enter "The Greenest Building in the Rogue Valley" contest, which covers homes or commercial buildings completed before July 1.

Entries will hang on poster boards at the Oregon Green Expo at Medford Armory, July 3-5. The community will vote for the top three entries, and the judges then will visit the sites and decide the winners.

Voting will be based on site and land use, energy and water conservation, use of green materials, indoor- environmental quality and innovation, Lotz said.

The contests are planned to be annual events, and prizes will be announced. Some will be gift certificates donated by area businesses.

"It's a fun activity for kids and adults. The models will be like little Barbie Doll houses. It promotes green building and helps students start thinking about sustainability in our lives," said Lotz.

To enter the contests, contact Lotz (, 541-840-9474 or or write to P.O. Box 1362, Ashland, OR 97520.

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