Portland Federal Building Begins Green Makeover

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The Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building is a high rise structure in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. Opened in 1975, the 18 story-tower is owned by the Federal Government. The international style office building has more than 370,000 square feet of space. Designed by the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architecture firm, the building is named after Wendell Wyatt and Edith Green who both served in the United States House of Representatives.

Construction began Wednesday on the $139 million renovation of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in downtown Portland, according to Ross Buffington, spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration.

Construction at Edith Wydan

As part of a plan to reduce energy use among its portfolio of federal buildings, the U.S. General Services Administration and Howard S. Wright Construction has begun construction to modernize the building to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum standards, the highest green building rating offered by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The renovation is expected to reduce lighting energy use by 40 percent and water use by 65 percent thanks to advanced lighting systems and low-flow fixtures. A solar array on the building’s roof is also expected to offset 6 percent of the building’s power.

The building was designed by SERA Architects of Portland and Cutler Anderson Architects of Bainbridge Island, Wash., the building’s original design included a 250-foot tall living wall to shade and insulate the structure for better energy performance. Concerns over the cost and maintenance of the vegetated façade, however, led designers in August to change the design to a shading system made of aluminum rods. Planters with climbing plants will be added to the base of the building, however, to shade the bottom three stories of the building. The vegetated “green wall” picked up notice from The New York Times. The new style is the picture below on the bottom right.

Edith Green - Wendell Wyatt Federal Building - Portland, OR

Initial plans to renovate the 18-story, 350,000-square-foot building were outlined three years ago, but never made it to the top of the government’s funding priority list. That changed when Congress approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the federal stimulus program.

This project is finally getting started and will provide a boost of hundreds of construction jobs in the local economy. Most notably, the project is yet another shining project for Portland’s environmentally-friendly portfolio and a boost to it’s downtown Eco District initiative.

About John Tarantino (325 Posts)

My name is John Tarantino ... and no, I am not related to Quinton Tarantino the movie director. I love writing about the environment, traveling, and capturing the world with my Lens as an amateur photographer. You can connect with me via Google+ or via Twitter: Follow @EnvironmentBlog

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