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Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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What is "green building"?

The term "green building" refers to a way of designing and constructing buildings to increase performance and enhance the health and experience for people who work, live and play in these structures. A green building:

  • Saves water and energy.
  • Generates low carbon emissions.
  • Uses renewable energy.
  • Is space-efficient in size and design.
  • Offers a healthier and safer built environment for occupants.
  • Is responsive to local climate conditions.
  • Uses locally-sourced products and services (within a 500 mile radius).
  • Processes waste.
  • Captures water.
  • Uses minimal materials.
  • Reuses existing structures
  • Incorporates low-toxicity, healthy or recycled-content materials.
  • Lasts a long time and is simple to maintain.
  • Leaves behind minimal construction waste.
  • Does not negatively impact the site.

Green building is also about exploration and experimentation. It’s gaining popularity with each passing year, growing from stand-alone green buildings, to ecodistricts to entire cities.