May 06, 2011

Schematic design is complete for the proposed Oregon Sustainability Center (OSC), to be located at SW Fourth Avenue and SW Montgomery Street, next to the Portland State University campus.

The project team, led by Gerding Edlen and including SERA Architects, GBD Architects and Skanska Construction, has posted the final designs on the project website and will invite public comment at an open house to be held on Wednesday, May 11.

The schematic design projects a cost of $59.3 million for the Center. The projected cost is 15 to 20 percent higher than comparable institutional buildings like the PSU Student Recreation Center and the Port of Portland’s new headquarters at the Portland Airport. About $65 of the cost per square foot represents the expense of meeting the Living Building Challenge and providing public space.  A similar price premium was evident 15 years ago for LEED construction, now considered an industry standard.

Dennis Wilde of Gerding Edlen said, “We believe the final schematic design reflects a revolutionary building that meets the most challenging standards for performance and cost, while providing a replicable model. We’re also seeing high-level interest from potential private sector partners, and we’re optimistic about significant in-kind investment in the Center.”

“The Oregon Sustainability Center is a prime opportunity to show the world that Portland’s architects, developers, engineers, contractors and building professionals are at the forefront of green-building innovation,” Portland Mayor Sam Adams said. “We are a leading city in clean technology innovation, as this project demonstrates.”

More than 80 percent of the OSC’s available office, research and classroom space has been designed for contingent lease commitments. The Center is envisioned as one of the highest performing commercial buildings in the world and will achieve triple net-zero performance in energy, water and wastewater management.  It is designed to pursue the world’s most stringent green building criteria, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council’s Living Building Challenge™ and seeks to expand the role of social equity in sustainability.

The Oregon Sustainability Center project is led by the Oregon University System, Portland Development Commission, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Oregon Living Building Initiative.

To view the final schematic design, a complete list of key partners and learn more about the design team visit: