– Laura Lundberg
In the downtown area of Eugene, just east of University of Oregon is a house under construction. However, this isn’t just any house. It a renovation project by a student run group the Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Living, otherwise known as CASL. Their Moss Street home will serve as a low impact living-learning center that will aim to educate students, faculty, as well as the community on the benefits of sustainable living.
There are several student organizers that have been planning the renovations on the house, and then they work with volunteers on the weekend to implement the weekly renovations. CASL has had possession of the Moss house since January of 2009 when the UO donated the house to the group. Rebecca Seward, one of the student co-directors for CASL, told me a bit about how the renovations of the Moss house are coming along. “We have currently completed the demolition phase of the renovation and are beginning to move forward on the interior renovation. This term we are really focused on completing the front porch renovation and working on the exterior of the house,” She explained.
CASL was first imagined when Jo Rodgers came up with the idea to build a low-impact house that uses technology and sustainability to function. What began as a senior thesis project in 2003 has become one of the most innovative environmental groups on campus. CASL offers architecture students the chance to design a house that is functional and completely sustainable. “I chose to get involved with CASL because it represented a lot of the lifestyle choices I strive to include in my life every day. As an architecture student, CASL is an amazing opportunity for me to work on a real project while completing my degree,” Seward explained.
When asked what one of the best things about sustainable living and the Moss house were, Seward responded,
“One of the main intentions for the Moss Street house is to be a resource to the community and help provide guidance to those looking to integrate more sustainability into their lives. We envision the house as being a place where we can honestly tell people about the successes and failures of the decisions we made in all aspects of the house, including materials, technologies, affordability, and feasibility. While we are major advocates for large scale green technologies, like alternative energy and greywater purification, we recognize that those are not the only sustainable changes people can make in their lives. Moving toward a sustainable lifestyle often begins with a few small changes and we want to be as helpful as we can in helping to guide those looking to take those steps.”
Check out the website here to learn more about CASL’s history, mission, and the project’s progression. For those who are interested in getting involved with CASL, you only need to attend one of the organizational meetings that are held every Wednesday at 7pm in Lawrence hall in room 100.