Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Portland Green Homes: Earth Advantage Teams up with Passive House

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource based in Portland, announced yesterday that it joined forces with the U.S. authority on “Passive House” to co-develop an Energy Performance Score labeling system that can be used for certified Passive House buildings. The Portland-based Earth Advantage Institute signed an agreement with Passive House Institute US that joins the two nonprofit organizations as affiliates.

Hailing from architecture hot-beds Germany and Austria, the Passivhaus concept is pretty straightforward: insulate a house so well that it’s airtight, then heat it with a small electric heater or heat exchange pump. The result: potential energy savings of more than 70 percent. “The massive energy savings offered by Passive House certification have attracted significant attention in the Northwest and in other parts of the country,” said Sean Penrith, executive director of the Earth Advantage Institute.

Sound too good to be true? The new wave of home construction requires extremely careful inspection – every screw, window, door, siding segment, and beyond must be completely air tight to make sure the Passivhaus registers no more than 0.6 air changes in an hour (a typical Portland house will register 20-30 changes/hr, while an efficient new Energy Star-compliant home will have around 7).


Portland Home and Garden Tips: NE Portland’s House of Antique Hardware

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Whether you’re restoring a historic home for sale or you’ve just purchased a diamond in the rough that needs some polishing, Portland has some amazing resources for classic restoration hardware, fixtures, and furniture that are true to the spirit of Northwest style and sustainability. What better way to be green when you’re fixing up a classic home than to use salvaged antique materials?

House of Antique Hardware is a great online source for antique reproduction hardware & lighting – and, better still, it’s a local company operated from Northeast Portland. Founded by a restoration contractor who took pride in using historically accurate products, House of Antique Hardware is more than just a hardware store. They know what it takes to get the job done right and are committed to finding authentic reproductions that will make your project easier and more gratifying. House of Antique Hardware has assembled a team of dedicated hardware specialists with decades of experience in antique and reproduction hardware. If you need assistance with your selection, have questions about installation or custom manufacturing, or are looking for an elusive piece, the House of Antique Hardware specialists are ready to help. They are proud to be part of the restoration community and are honored to participate in each renovation project, large or small. You get free shipping anywhere in the US on all orders of $100 or more. No added processing or handling fees!

Stay tuned for more tips for restoring and selling a home! Got other tips for great antique hunting, salvaged materials, or knowledgeable help? Let us know! (more…)

Washington County Real Estate: Forest Grove earns third Nationally-recognized historic district

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The Walker Naylor neighborhood recently became Forest Grove’s third neighborhood to earn a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, joining the Clark and Painter’s Woods districts that were established in 2002 and 2009. Forest Grove is now home to three of Washington County’s four historic districts, and city leaders hope to make Forest Grove a destination for seekers of the quaint, beautiful and classic (Washington County’s only other historic district is in downtown Beaverton).

To be considered as a historic district, at least half of the houses in a given area must be “contributing,” meaning they meet national criteria for a historic home. To receive such a designation, homes must be at least 50 years old. Other property attributes — from the trees and lawns, to the windowpanes, to the style of siding — also play a role. Walker Naylor, a 32-acre neighborhood to the north of downtown and west of Pacific University, represents a century’s worth of Forest Grove history. Styles range from the large, ornate homes of university faculty and city businessmen in the mid-1800s to smaller World War II-era cottages.

The area was initially settled by the town’s professionals and businessmen who constructed Victorian homes on large semi-rural lots. By the early-twentieth century a regional boom fueled by demand for agricultural and forest products resulted in a burgeoning downtown and increasing enrollments at Pacific University. During this time lots in Walker Naylor were subdivided to meet growing demand for housing and buildings in the Bungalow and Period Revival Cottage styles were constructed. After WWII, lots continued to be divided over the next several decades as homes were constructed in the Ranch and WWII Period Cottage styles among others. By 1959 the neighborhood had been largely built out and few residences were constructed after this period.


Downtown Portland Real Estate: New McMenamins Hotel transforms 100-year-old Building

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

The three-story, 100-year-old building at SW 12th and Stark in Downtown Portland sits in a strange spot along the bustling Burnside thoroughfare. Separated from the rest of the commercial buildings in the area on a triangular block, the building is getting a new life as the Crystal Hotel, a boutique 51-room lodge with a restaurant on the first floor and a below-ground bar. The nearby Crystal Ballroom draws crowds from Portland and the surrounding areas for popular concerts and events, and the Crystal Hotel will provide a new place for music lovers and Portland visitors to spend the night in style.

The purchase, $4 million remodeling, and 1997 re-opening of the Crystal Ballroom as a dance hall/music venue got McMenamins into the staging of national music acts, and the Crystal remains one of the most successful music venues in Portland – just a block west of the new hotel. The McMenamin brothers bought the hotel for $3 million in 2008, and have invested a lot of money, time, and energy into the renovation of the historic building – down to music-inspired decor in every room and a salt water soaking pool. The downstairs bar will feature acoustic shows from artists playing at the Ballroom, and is sure to be a hit among the late-night Downtown Portland crowd.

The hotel will open in May, and will feature one perk that’s sure to attract music lovers from far and wide – hotel guests who want to go to a Crystal Ballroom show will be able to buy tickets even if the show is sold out!


Portland Real Estate Insider: Tour of Remodeled Homes

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Just a quick reminder: The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland‘s annual Tour of Remodeled Homes is happening this weekend, March 12-1, 2011 from 10 to 5. Only $17.50 for both days, tickets can be purchased online or by calling 503-684-1880. This event is a great way to get inspired to remodel your next home in Portland, or to make your current house ready to be a successful sale in the Portland Real Estate Market.

The remodelers on this year’s tour are: Arciform; Cascade Restoration & Remodeling; Cooper Designbuilders; Fouch Building & Remodeling; JB Construction; Leitner Construction; Master Plan Remodeling; Metke Remodeling & Woodworking; Neil Kelly Design/Build Remodeling; Olsen Homes & Renovation/Paolo Design Group; Portland Remodel; Rio Renovation; SLS Remodel & Additions; Stanley Renovation & Design; and T.H.E. Remodel Group.

Interested in buying a remodeled home in Portland? The home tour will showcase Porland area homes for every budget and lifestyle. The National Home Builders Association estimates that Americans spent $216 billion in home remodeling in 2008. Remodeling accounts for 2 percent of the US economy and 40 percent of all residential construction! Best of all, Portland is an international leader in sustainable and green renovation, with more alternative energy upgrades and innovative, money-saving tools and techniques being developed every year. More interested in new construction in Portland? The Ultimate Open House Tour of New Homes event might be more your style, where Tom Liesy of TA Liesy Homes NW will be showcasing many of his amazing homes. Either event is bound to get you excited about the Portland home market – we know we are!


Portland Real Estate Insider: New Sellwood Bridge Approved by Multnomah County

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Here in Portland, we’re so well known for the many bridges crossing the Willamette and Columbia Rivers that our unofficial nickname is Bridgetown, and one bridge in particular remains infamous. The Sellwood Bridge, connecting the southernmost regions of east Portland with the southern West Hills and Lake Oswego, has been derided as one of the worst bridges in America. Though it’s location is important, conveniently connecting areas like the South Waterfront real estate and OHSU homes and commutes, many people take the long way around, using the Marquam Bridge or Ross Island Bridge to avoid the Sellwood Bridge altogether. Luckily, committees have been working diligently to come up with a viable replacement bridge, and the final design has been selected and property acquisition has begun for the project. The Multnomah County Commission unanimously approved the deck arch design for the new Sellwood Bridge this morning.

The Multnomah County Commission approval included money-saving measures that will save $41 million by moving the bridge closer to the river near Oregon Route 43. The next round of decisions will focus on smaller details, including the design of railings and the placement of signs. Construction can begin after the Federal Highway Administration issues a Record of Decision, right-of-way is purchased, and design work is complete.

The Sellwood Bridge is very important the Portland metro region, as the bridge provides the only crossing for a 12-mile stretch of the Willamette River between Oregon City and Portland, and it connects major highways, including Oregon Highways 99E, 43, and 224. It is the busiest two-lane bridge in Oregon, with an average daily traffic count of 30,000 vehicles. It is also located in a heavily populated area that is experiencing high density development. The bridge is a primary connection to west Portland for residents and businesses in Sellwood, Westmoreland, and areas beyond. Many of the bridge users are commuters who live in Clackamas County.


Portland Real Estate Guide: New Greek Revival Home Style Guide

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Next up in our new series of Portland Home Style Guides is the Greek Revival style guide, also known as “Federal” or “Neoclassical” homes. The first architectural style to take off in the Oregon Territories in the 1850′s, Greek Revival is a highly geometric, clean, and simple home style that evokes Greek temple architecture. While Greek Revival homes can be quite grandiose and imposing, the style trickled down to the average residential home-builder throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, resulting in the many symmetrical column-porched family homes you now see around town. In the McDonald Group Portland Real Estate Greek Revival Home Style Guide you’ll find historical information, interior and exterior architectural details, and where to find many Greek Revival homes in Portland.

If you’re interested in Greek Revival homes for sale in Portland and Portland-area suburbs, contact the McDonald Group Portland real estate experts today. We can help you pinpoint the style, size, and location of your dream home in Portland.



Portland Real Estate Guide: New Tudor Revival Home Style Guide

Monday, January 24th, 2011

First up in our new series of Portland Home Style Guides is the Tudor Revival style guide, also known as “Medieval Revival,” “Mock-Tudor,” “Tudorbethan,” “English Cottages,” or “English Countryside” homes. Common in many older Portland neighborhoods, the Tudor Revival side is a romantic, charming home style reminiscent of classic English country architecture. In the McDonald Group Portland Real Estate Home Style Guide you’ll find historical information, interior and exterior architectural details, and where to find Tudor homes in Portland.

If you’re interested in Tudor homes for sale in Portland and Portland-area suburbs, contact the McDonald Group Portland real estate experts today. We can help you pinpoint the style, size, and location of your dream home in Portland.



Portland Real Estate Guide: New McDonald Group “Portland Home Styles” Series

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Victorian, Craftsman, Ranch, modern, mid-century, “Portland Style.” If you’ve spent any time looking for homes for sale in the Portland Real Estate market, these words should be very familiar – but do you really know what they mean? If you were to do a search in the Portland Real Estate Market for “Tudor” homes, you’d no doubt come up with drastically varying results. What are the characteristics that make up a Tudor home, or an English cottage, or an “Old Portland”-style house? If you love classic built-ins, fireplaces, and hardwood floors, what words should you be using? If you want a truly modern West Hills home, what can you ask for to avoid being shown all the ranches and mid-centuries? We’ll answer those questions and more with our upcoming guides to Portland Home Styles.

We’re launching a new series of Home Style guides that will give you a crash course in the architectural history, signature characteristics, and pros and cons of specific home styles, as well as tips on where in Portland and Portland-area suburbs you’ll find any kind of home. Here at the McDonald Group Portland Real Estate blog, we’ll be digging up the facts on all the home styles you’ll find in Portland and the surrounding areas, so you’ll know how to tell a New England Colonial from a Colonial Cape Cod – and be one step closer to finding the Portland home of your dreams. Stay tuned!



Portland Real Estate Insider: Cornelius, Oregon Reinvents itself in the 21st Century

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

The City of Cornelius is reinventing itself, starting with a new city library and a Virginia Garcia Wellness Center – the first urban building in town – which city officials hope will initiate a new era for the Portland suburb. The Virginia Garcia Wellness Center will be the first building in town with three stories, and the first to take up a whole city block, while the library is slated to be the town’s community gathering space. While Cornelius offers convenience and affordable homes for sale, it has been missing a central downtown area. The new central area will define the center of Cornelius, paving way for a new century of new construction for the historic town.

The architecture firm responsible for the new buildings received a $12 million grant last year to aid in the cost of the new construction. The library is slated to be a modern building with technological resources and meeting rooms for groups and clubs. Existing plans have the future library situated on Adair Street, a few blocks away from the Virginia Garcia campus. Both the wellness center and library will have central plazas that will serve as gathering places for Cornelius residents, and the Virginia Garcia campus will have a community garden and walking paths. Many of the other buildings that line Adair and Baseline streets are small and aging, and are ripe for renovation and redevelopment. The city’s enthusiasm for the new projects bode well for investment opportunities in the Cornelius real estate market, as the centralized buildings will no doubt reinvigorate enthusiasm for development of new retail and residential buildings.

About Cornelius: The city of Cornelius – “Oregon’s Family Town” – is in the wine-rich Tualatin Valley, just west of Portland and Hillsboro in Washington County. Cornelius, a community of 10,955 people, truly has something for everyone, from the historic downtown to the rolling hills of countryside dotted with vineyards and amazing views of the valley. Cornelius is a nature-lover’s haven, with nine city parks and great fishing, sailing, swimming, bicycling, hiking and picnicking at nearby Henry Hagg Lake. Washington County hosts one of America’s premier wine regions with world class vineyards and tasting rooms within minutes of the town center. Nine beautiful golf courses abound providing a selection to satisfy anyone’s taste. If you’re interested in Cornelius Real Estate, land and homes for sale in Cornelius, or have any questions about relocating to Portland and Portland area suburbs, don’t hesitate to contact the McDonald Group Realtors, your guide to Suburban Portland Real Estate.


Portland Real Estate Insider: Portland Area Bridges Celebrate Birthdays this December

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Two rivers wind through Portland, Oregon: the north-flowing Willamette, separating the city into East and West Portland, and the mighty Columbia, the fourth largest river in the US, which divides Oregon and Washington. Portland is called Bridgetown for a reason: the twelve bridges crossing these rivers (each an example of a unique architectural style and six that must open for tall sailboats and giant cargo ships) are a vital part of life for most Portlanders. This month several Portland bridges are celebrating their “birthdays” – the Sellwood (1925), Glenn L. Jackson aka I-205 (1982), Hawthorne, Ross Island (1926) and Oregon City (1922) bridges all opened in mid to late December. Though there is no technical reason why bridges would be finished at the same time of year, Portland’s bridges seem to near completion in the winter months. Officials have decorated the Morrison Bridge with special red, green and white lights to honor the December birthdays and the holiday season. This December is extra special for the Hawthorne Bridge, built in 1910, which will celebrate its 100th birthday this Sunday, December 19.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we live in a city surrounding a major river, even when we find myself crossing bridges ten times a day. It’s easy to keep our eyes on the road, and when we’re downtown or deep in Southeast, it seems like such a landlocked town. One of our favorite things, oddly, is getting stuck on the Hawthorne bridge when the drawbridge is up, letting a tall ship pass under the steel and concrete. During these rare moments, we’re afforded the opportunity to really soak up the fact that Portland is defined by water, and to appreciate the beauty of our river.

Quite simply, Portland wouldn’t exist without the rivers that define its borders. More than 150 years ago, settlers came to this green spot because it was accessible by boat and perfect for salmon fishing and transport of the the huge logs of the Oregon timber trade. Though our primary industries have shifted towards the technical and intellectual, and the river is more of an obstacle of transportation than a boon, its important to appreciate the economic and natural impact of the river that runs through us.


Gresham Real Estate: New MAX Line Station Could Boost Gresham Development

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

TriMet is getting very close to opening the MAX light-rail station in Gresham, and city officials are anticipating a boom of Gresham Real estate and business development in response to the new transportation hub. Portland regional government Metro and the city of Gresham combined forces to organize the new construction of the Civic Drive Station, a MAX stop slated for commercial center between the Gresham City Hall and Ruby Junction MAX stops. The plan is to revitalize the Civic neighborhood by first bringing the transportation, then assisting development. It’s an interesting reversal of the typical planning steps of building first, drawing traffic later. In this new construct, Gresham officials are baiting new businesses and development firms with the promise of easy access for residents and consumers.

The desire is to create another vibrant, walk-friendly community in Gresham, akin to the thriving historic downtown. The area surrounding the Civic station already includes the Gresham Station shopping area, the Center for Advanced Learning charter school, The Crossings upscale apartment community, and an L.A. Fitness. The city of Gresham hopes to add to this retail, residential, and commercial community with new restaurants, boutiques, and community centers intended to create a thriving and unique community. Eventually, the city plans to build a $600,000 Civic Drive plaza for community gatherings.

The Civic Drive Station is modeled on the similar Cascade Station MAX stop, which contributed to the development of the thriving commercial area next to the Portland International Airport. Now home to parks, hotels, restaurants, large stores and the area’s own IKEA, Cascade Station is a symbol of the potential success of development-baiting transportation planning. (more…)

Portland Real Estate Insider: City of Portland and Multnomah County Reach Agreement on Sellwood Bridge

Friday, October 8th, 2010

The long-awaited replacement Sellwood Bridge is one step closer to completion this week, as Sam Adams, Portland’s mayor, and Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen have reached a compromise over the disputed funding of the structure. Issues arose when the city of Portland analyzed the prospective traffic of the bridge and found that most of the Sellwood bridge traffic is coming from outside of Portland city limits, yet the city’s taxpayers were expected to pay the majority of the bill. After the city attempted a move to gain jurisdiction over all of the Willamette River bridges, the county agreed to return half of the projected savings on the bridge construction (expected to come it at around $20 million) back to the City of Portland to aid the construction of the MAX Light Rail’s Portland-Milwaukie line. The city has hired an independent engineering firm to find places to scale down construction on the bridge without affecting its functionality and safety. One of the scale-backs includes the elimination of a ramp to a west-side business along the Willamette river that is no longer operating.

As the agreement stands, the City of Portland will contribute $100 million for the construction of the new Sellwood bridge, as well as an additional $60 million for debt services connected to the initial investment. This development addresses both necessary forward action on the Sellwood Bridge project as well as funding needed for the MAX light rail project in order to match federal funds for construction. If the agreement is finalized in the next few weeks, Portland will receive $735 million in federal matching funds for the light rail project. The Light Rail Portland-Milwaukie line is expected to break ground next summer and create an additional 14,000 jobs in the Portland metro area. Additionally, the new rail line and Sellwood bridge will drastically change access to Downtown Portland for residents of Southern Portland neighborhoods and Portland suburb real estate. Residents of Happy Valley, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Clackamas, and other Portland area suburbs will greatly benefit from the new construction, currently clogged by the old Sellwood Bridge.

The Sellwood Bridge, connecting the southernmost regions of east Portland with the southern West Hills, has been derided as one of the worst bridges in America. Though it’s location is important, conveniently connecting areas like the South Waterfront real estate and OHSU homes and commutes, many people take the long way around, using the Marquam Bridge or Ross Island Bridge to avoid the Sellwood Bridge altogether. Construction on the new Sellwood Bridge will begin in July, 2012, with the finished bridge projected in 2014. The finished bridge will no doubt improve Portland area commutes and accessibility to more great Portland Real Estate. Stay tuned to the McDonald Group Realtor blog for more updates!


New Construction & Custom Built Homes in Happy Valley, Oregon is a win-win!

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Scott and I have sold alot of homes in Happy Valley, in fact we think it’s a fantastic place to invest right now as you can buy an amazing grand home with a view, level lot, great school and a great neighborhood all within in a few minute drive to the freeway.  We’ve watched Happy Valley’s housing market go through several changes, short sales, bank owned…. but what we are seeing as the current and growing trend is new construction homes for sale and they are selling fast.  New construction homes are not only competitively priced they are amazingly priced. Smart builders are picking up lots at great prices and passing the savings on to the home buyer. Not only does the home buyer get a new home, they get to chose finishes, make changes to the plans or even design their own.  What we are seeing in the way of resale homes is that the good ones are picked over and the ones left are beat up, distressed , on impossible lots, poorly constructed or attracting multiple offers. When going with a new constructed home you can move into the home you envisioned and not spend an abundance of time waiting for the right one to hit the market. Another advantage is that the home is taxed at today’s value, not a tax assessed value from 2005.

Happy Valley is hot right now, new construction is even hotter.  New home sales is our forte, call me for pricing, lots & plans! -Kristie McDonald, Your Happy Valley Realtor!

Portland Realtor Insider: Iconic “Made in Oregon” Sign Purchased by City will be Changing

Monday, September 13th, 2010

In news that spread across the icon-obsessed City of Roses like wildfire, the city of Portland is working on a deal to purchase the iconic White Stag sign. Located near the Western end of the Burnside Bridge, the sign currently reads “Made in Oregon”, an advertisement for a former Portland, Oregon store, but will be changes to read “Portland, Oregon” as soon as Thanksgiving if the deal goes through. The sign has been an iconic image of the city for many years, and serves as a greeting to visitors entering downtown.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams has said that the sign is an icon of Portland and will remain a symbol of the city under the new contract. The plan to purchase the city began when the University of Oregon purchased the White Stag building and announced plans to change the sign to read “University of Oregon.”

The sign has read many different things over the years, many of which were advertisements for Portland businesses, including “White Satin Sugar,” “Home of White Stag Sportswear,” “Made in Oregon,” and the bottom of the sign has read “Sportswear” and “Old Town.”


Gresham Realtor Insider: Solar-Powered Crosswalk Signals Coming to Gresham

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

One thing most drivers comment on when coming to Portland for the first time is how accommodating the streets are for pedestrians. All along busy streets like Division, Hawthorne, and Belmont, striped crosswalks mark places where a dog-walker, skateboarder, or baby-stroller-pushing mom can simply step off the curb and get the right-of-way, with cars stopping almost instantaneously on both sides of traffic. This system works pretty well, but studies have shown that lighted signals and flashing crosswalk signs really make a difference when it comes to driver comfort and awareness and pedestrian safety. A popular crossing point in Gresham, near the city’s new skate park on West Powell Boulevard, will soon feature a solar powered crosswalk signal, the city’s first, to aid traffic flow.

Set to be up and running as soon as the second week of September, the signal is one of four planned installations of solar-powered crosswalks in Gresham. While many crosswalks in Portland have signal lights, reflective markers, or are on busy-enough streets that drivers are slowed down enough to see the pedestrians attempting to cross, most Gresham crossings are not as well-equipped.

The solar-powered lights will better alert drivers to the crossing of pedestrians by flashing a rectangular yellow LED beacon activated by pedestrians on either side of the street as well as on the traffic median. The lights can be seen in daylight up to 1,000 feet away, and at night can be seen for up to a mile! The solar lights are water resistant, effective to 176 degrees, will charge in 3 hours time and will stay lit up to 16 hours. Plus, they don’t require any construction, wiring, or digging, so they are cost effective and energy-efficient. Way to go, Gresham!


Portland Realtor Insider: New Sellwood Bridge Design Update

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Here in Portland, we’re so well known for the many bridges crisscrossing the Willamette and Columbia Rivers that our unofficial nickname is Bridgetown, and one bridge in particular remains infamous. The Sellwood Bridge, connecting the southernmost regions of east Portland with the southern West Hills, has been derided as one of the worst bridges in America. Though it’s location is important, conveniently connecting areas like the South Waterfront real estate and OHSU homes and commutes, many people take the long way around, using the Marquam Bridge or Ross Island Bridge to avoid the unsafe Sellwood Bridge altogether. Luckily, committees have been working diligently to come up with a viable replacement bridge, and some final designs were looked over and rated last night.

For the first time, members of the Portland community got a glimpse of the proposed designs, their budgets, and the features that will make the new bridge Portland-appropriate, including wide bike lanes and pedestrian shoulders, as well as space set aside for the new streetcar line.

The favorite design overall, based on aesthetics, was a Steel Decked Tied Arch design. Other considerations to come include price, maintenance, and construction schedule. You can check out all of the designs here. We can see why the Steel Decked Tied Arch design won out of the designs that we proposed, but we’re also a bit surprised that there weren’t more innovative designs in the bunch. Portland is full of creative, talented designers and architects, and it really seems like we could have come up with some more iconic, beautiful, modern designs instead of falling back on what we already have. Bridges last for hundreds of years – i.e. the Hawthorne Bridge that celebrated her 100th birthday this year – and it seems to us that it’d be worth the extra time and money to make a bridge that represents Portland’s unique character a bit better. We’re not suggesting that the new bridge needs to be as wacky as the Badrick Bridge proposition, but it should reflect our identity more than a simple cookie-cutter bridge would.


Portland Green Real Estate: Oregon Sustainability Center Is One Step Closer to Reality

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Today marks a big victory for the new Oregon Sustainability Center as the Portland City Council unanimously voted to support a resolution to become a financial partner in development of the building. The city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will take on some of the funding for the new center, set to the first high-rise “living building,” an emerging certification for buildings that recycle all of their water, produce their own energy, and use locally sourced, low-environmental-impact materials during construction. To be located on the outskirts of the Portland State University campus in downtown Portland, the OSC building will house a variety of nonprofits and offices of the Oregon University System and the City of Portland. In addition to housing office space for the city and nonprofits, the OSC will house an exhibition center to educate visitors about net-zero energy, water and waste buildings. The project’s website explains:

As one of the highest performing commercial buildings in the world, OSC will achieve triple net-zero performance in energy and water use and carbon emissions.  It is designed to meet the world’s most stringent green building criteria, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge™.

OSC plans on changing the face of Portland building and real estate development by setting an example of the highest level of sustainability, and acting as a resource for new construction and innovators who want to bring Portland into the 21st century. Bringing together government, academic, nonprofit, and business sectors to advance the Portland’s innovation in sustainability, the “living building” will be a model of how we can meet the challenges of depleting resources and space by creating innovative alternatives and increasing green jobs.


Portland Green Real Estate Trends: New Affordable & Green, Architect-Designed Housing in Portland

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

You already know that Portland is a haven for sustainable living, but lot of people think that fully sustainable homes are only for the upper crust. Portland-based design group Minimalist+ is working to change that by bringing pre-fabricated and affordable stylish homes to the metro area. The houses are architect-designed, modern wonders that are assembled in local Portland warehouses, so little carbon is wasted on transportation. These little gems pop up in a matter of days using light panels, preserving surrounding trees and landscaping.

The houses come in two varieties:

Light Green: This option costs $160 per square foot, can be built in just two days, and is filled with cool green feautes like on-demand 60 gallon plus water heaters, efficient gas furnace, sustainable hardwood floors, energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, and laminate, vinyl, carpet, and ceramic tile finishes.


Top Spots for Restoration Hardware and Supplies in Portland

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Whether you’re restoring a historic home for sale or you’ve just purchased a diamond in the rough that needs some polishing, Portland has some amazing resources for classic restoration hardware, fixtures, and furniture that are true to the spirit of Northwest style and sustainability. What better way to be green when you’re fixing up a classic home than to use salvaged antique materials? Here are some of The McDonald Group’s favorite spots for browsing through classic tiles, old neon signs, gorgeous sustainable lumber, rusted scrolled keys, and giant boxes of original tin ceiling plates. Remember to use gloves, those edges can be sharp!

The ReBuilding Center: The ReBuilding Center is a non-profit used building materials outlet, perfect for finding everything from rough cut lumber and bamboo poles to beautiful antique fixtures and hardware. Part thrift store, part treasure hunt, and part hardware store, this is the go-to place to find salvaged building and remodeling materials. There’s a reason you see bumper stickers around town that proclaim that drivers love this place. You have to be willing to dig a little, but everything is logically located and labeled, and the staff is fantastically friendly, so you’ll be sure to find inspiration for projects big and small. Plus, the prices are so low, you’ll leave with enough to keep your home improvement muse happy for weeks.

3625 N Mississippi Ave Portland, OR 97227
(503) 331-1877


Our Newest Listing; Luxury in Lake Oswego!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Our newest listing is a high end contemporary home in Lake Oswego designed by Bob Thompson in contemporary/modern fashion! This home is incredible, walls of windows, gourmet kitchen, guest suite with it’s own kitchen, lap pool & jacuzzi, theater room, customizable lighting & sound systems, all high end materials through out (granite, marble, slate, hardwoods sculpted fireplaces and more). And to top it off, panoramic views of Mt Hood, Mt Rainer, Mt Adams, My St Helens and city from most rooms! Looking for the entertainers delight in a luxury home estate in Lake Oswego, look no further give us a call! (more…)

The Split Level Home. Gaining new popularity-

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

My mom detests Split Levels, and in most homes I don’t like them either. The last thing I want to have to do when I open my home’s front door is be instantly faced with more choices… up or down.  And unless the (more…)