The LEED-Platinum Mercy Corps headquarters in Portland’s Old Town achieved both equity and green building goals on its way to becoming a model of green building practices. Prosper Portland contributed $4.3 million to the project, which cost $37.8 million and awarded $4.4 million to minority/women/emerging small business construction contracting firms.
Mercy Corps worked closely with various stakeholders, including Prosper Portland, for more than a year, to choose a building site, imagining the agency’s new home and making that vision a reality.
Mercy Corps has a worldwide team of more than three thousand employees operating in more than 40 countries. Its headquarters is a hub of global and local action and a model of environmental sustainability. The building headquarters includes the Mercy Corps Action Center, a public education center dedicated to telling visitors compelling stories from around the world and serving as a community space for local seminars and lectures. Originally constructed in 1892, the existing building underwent a total seismic upgrade and renovation and a new addition to the building was constructed. The building now features a large open atrium for daylighting and a staircase and gallery assembled largely from reclaimed materials. Period-appropriate, energy-efficient windows and solar shades help to keep overhead energy costs low, and a green roof, pervious pavers and flow-through planters help to manage on-site stormwater runoff.