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GSA Transforms 1974 Building Into Top Performing Green Building

May 30, 2013

PORTLAND, OR — Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced the completion of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building renovation project in downtown Portland, Oregon. The 39-year-old facility is now a high-performing green building designed to be one of the most energy efficient office buildings in the country. U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer and representatives from the project team joined GSA in Portland today to commemorate the completion of the project.

"This building responds to the needs of our most important customer -- the American people," said Dorothy Robyn, Commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service. "The renovation has created a new building that will grace the Portland skyline for years to come, better serve the local federal community and the general public, and save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy and water costs annually."

GSA invested $139 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to develop an efficient high-performance green building, which created jobs and opportunities for businesses. The project created 760 jobs onsite over the last four years and more than $26 million dollars went to local small businesses. The facility is now expected to achieve a 55 percent reduction in energy savings and use 60 percent less water than typical office buildings. Overall, these sustainable and innovative technologies are expected to result in $300,000-$400,000 in utility cost saving per year.

"GSA's job is to provide efficient and effective workplace solutions for federal agencies in the best interest of the taxpayer," said George Northcroft, GSA Regional Administrator for the Northwest/Arctic Region. "This building saves money by reducing energy costs and helps the federal tenants complete their mission on behalf of the American people."

The facility is designed to meet the Federal Guiding Principles for High Performing Green Buildings and the Obama Administration's directives for agencies to lead by example in environmental, energy, and economic performance. Through these directives agencies are required to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets. Additionally, the facility is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its use of cutting-edge sustainable design and technology. Some energy conservation measures include 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 a 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," said Troy Dickson, Project Executive for Howard S. Wright, a Balfour Beatty Company. "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."

According to Don Eggleston, Principal in Charge for SERA Architects, "Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt is a living testament to the power of science-based, climate responsive design in creating a cost-effective high performance building. Our goal was to demonstrate how we, as designers, can partner with our government to be good stewards of both the environment and taxpayer dollars."

The 18 story building will house 16 federal agencies. Tenants will begin moving into their new office space starting in August.

GSA received more than $5.5 billion under the Recovery Act to convert federal facilities into high-performance green buildings and construct energy-efficient federal buildings, courthouses, and land ports of entry. In addition to creating jobs, these projects are delivering lasting progress toward building a more sustainable national infrastructure while reducing the federal government's consumption of energy and water, and increasing the use of clean and renewable sources of energy. The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt building is one of 600 that GSA owns or leases in the Pacific Northwest.

Related link: Fact sheets and photos of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building.

Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13