Launch Slideshow

BEFORE...

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Launch Slideshow

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This article is part of a continuing series on sustainable remodeling projects from across the country.

An outdated 1970s office building in Portland, Ore., has been transformed into a showpiece of the federal government’s green building portfolio with all new mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and data systems designed to make it one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in the country.

The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in downtown Portland will house 16 federal agencies and is expected to achieve a 55 percent reduction in energy savings and use 60 percent less water than a typical office facility. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) invested $139 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to develop the high-performance green building, which is expected to yield $300,000 to $400,000 in utility cost savings annually.

The facility, which opened last week, is on track to achieve LEED-Platinum certification for its use of cutting-edge sustainable design and technology, including a 13,000-square-foot solar roof, elevators that generate power as they descend, shading devices, energy-efficient lighting systems, a cistern for rainwater reuse, water-conserving fixtures, and an air system that provides 100 percent fresh air.

The work was completed by the team of SERA Architects and Howard S. Wright Construction, a Balfour Beatty Company, who were awarded the contract in 2010.

"The innovative and collaborative approach to the delivery of the project helped create the opportunity to optimize technologies and sustainable features," says Troy Dickson, project executive for Howard S. Wright.  "By incorporating smart building technologies with radiant heating and cooling, coupled with a state of the art building enclosure, Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt represents the model of energy efficiency for high rise office buildings."