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Peoples Co-op renovation update

Come see alternative, sustainable building techniques at Peoples during their renovation. SE 21st at Tibbets. Volunteers always welcome. Inquire within.

The People's Co-op has been under renovation since April. Stop by right now and you'll see a somewhat alarming sight: the old purple house the store used to occupy is currently jacked up off the ground into the air while a new basement is built underneath it.

Go underneath and check it out if you dare (and at your own risk). But watch your head!

Peoples has been in business for thirty years, and receives a lot of community support.

People's has built a new building next to the old one and will connect both into one larger structure. The new building utilizes many alternative construction techniques that are low-impact, sustainable and beautiful. This outer wall, for example is made of cob and is pierced by bottles. The sunlight creates a colorful play of light inside the store as it shines through.

A resevoir was buried under the open space between the buildings to collect rainwater for the toilets. Much of the wood is recycled. A heat exchange system for warming in the winter and cooling in the summer utilizes a pipe with a coil driven 300 feet underground.

Peoples is open for business during the renovation. The grand opening is scheduled for September, and so far construction is still on schedule.

To enter the store, you temporarily have to go around to the side and use the new building's fire exit door. Red arrows point the way.

If you want to learn more about alternative constructive techniques, you can have a hands-on experience on Thursday, August 8, from 2-6 p.m., when folks from the Natural Building Convergence will be working on a straw bale house in SE Portland. [ Details ]

Previous story: People's Co-op expansion going strong (29 April) | Other sustainable projects in Portland: "Natural Building Convergence - Bringing the Vision Down to Earth" (21 May) | Current event: "Natural building continues"