Greenest Building set for Wednesday night viewing at LO city hall

Don't tear down that old house!

That statement sums up the message of "The Greenest Building," which will be shown on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Lake Oswego City Hall.

The award-winning film by former Lake Oswego resident Jane Turville presents a compelling argument of why the historic homes of Lake Oswego should be renovated instead of being torn down and shoved into a landfill. The film challenges the myth that green building is strictly new building and promotes the idea that adaptive reuse of existing structures achieves the sustainability "triple bottom line" — economic, social and ecological balance. by: CLIFF NEWELL - Diana Smith-Bouwer prepares her marquee for the film 'The Greenest Building,' which will be shown in Lake Oswego on Wednesday.

"This is saving what we already have," said Diana Smith-Bouwer, public affairs coordinator for the city. "Why shouldn't we not just retrofit what we already have? So many homes are being torn down, and they are beautiful homes."

"Historic buildings were built with materials that were meant to last," said Susan Millhauser, city sustainability coordinator, "not like the materials that are used today. Now materials are disposable."

Joining Smith-Bouwer and Millhauser in the effort to promote "The Greenest Building" is Marylou Colver, founder of the Lake Oswego Preservation Society, which is co-sponsoring the event with the city's sustainability and historic resources advisories boards. The film perfectly fits Colver's goal of preserving historic homes in Lake Oswego. Not just because these homes are historic and beautiful but because not reusing them is such a waste.

"You think of all the time it took for construction and most the materials going into a landfill," Colver said. "There is much construction waste from new buildings, and it takes 60 years to recoup the energy lost in tearing down an old home and replacing it.

"When it comes to saving a building there are things you don't think about, like trees and water. It's a huge picture with many, many resources at stake."

Boosting the message of her film will be Turville herself, who will be on hand to comment on the film and answer questions.

"We hope this will help people come to see the value in saving old buildings," Smith-Bouwer said. "They will see resources they didn't know existed."

She added, "We hope this is just the start of things like this that promote sustainability in Lake Oswego."

One good reason to see the film is that May is Sustainability Action Month in Lake Oswego. Another is that free popcorn will be given away at the showing. There is no admission charge to "The Greenest Building."

Lake Oswego City Hall is located at 380 A Ave.

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