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Laura Fosmire, Statesman Journal | 7:27 a.m. PST January 8, 2015

The Pringle Creek Community has added another LEED-certified house to its collection of energy-efficient homes.

This new house, at 1884 John Muir Circle SE, opens a new chapter for Pringle in several ways.

For one, it’s the first new construction in the community since 2012. It’s a promising step forward after construction stagnated due to the economy, leaving dozens of empty lots.

The latest home also has 2,035 square feet of living space that is powered primarily through solar energy — the first in the neighborhood. Pringle’s other homes are powered by a communal geothermal energy source.

The home is LEED-certified platinum, the highest level of certification available, and offers four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, an attached garage and a number of energy-efficient amenities. Although construction is still underway, it’s already on the market with a $395,000 price tag.

“Our big focus was keeping it affordable,” said Shan Stassens, a partner with Winsome Construction, the McMinnville-based company that built the house. “We’re trying to ground and quantify some of these expensive, high-end features. People would like these efficient features, but the question is how much are they willing to pay for them?”

Green homes, as a rule, are more expensive than traditional homes. But the cost comes with benefits: Namely, durable, high-quality, energy-efficient materials.

In December, Winsome hosted 30 people to the construction site to offer a tour of the incomplete house. These kind of tours are a common occurrence for the company, said partner Wendy Stassens. They call it the brains and the bones — an opportunity to examine the underlying structure that contributes to the home’s green aspect.

That includes windows framed in wood instead of vinyl; a rainscreen beneath the exterior siding to keep out moisture; and 6 inches of blown-in insulation instead of fiberglass.

Shan Stassens is also eager to point out the architectural touches, such as skylights, vaulted ceilings, and the house’s custom design based on its location within the Pringle community.

“You just don’t see architecturally-designed homes at this price point,” he said.

Once the construction is completed, Winsome plans to host a second tour and open house (this is what Winsome calls “the features and finishes”). The builders expect to have the home move-in ready by early March.

As for the other empty lots surrounding the house, Winsome and Pringle Creek officials are eager to begin construction on other houses that follow the same basic configuration.

“Pringle needs to build and to sell more homes,” Shan Stassens said. “They’ve maintained this community through the recession. And if we can develop a program for sustainable building, that’s our goal.”