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The City of Portland, Oregon

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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Construction project manager Alan Fong notes that, with the exception of some LEED-related issues, the project was not much different from other projects. FSC certified wood was used for more than 50% (cost) of the new installed wood and the team reused most of the existing framing lumber, trim, moldings and wood panels. Wheatboard cabinet substrate and formaldehyde free medium-density fiberboard were specified as well. The contractor was unable to source a formaldehyde-free wood door and had to purchase hollow metal doors instead. This enabled the team to retain LEED credit 4.4 for low-emitting materials and the metal doors fortuitously added recycled content to the project.

Kitchen, bathroom, and secondary use area flooring is made of rapidly renewable materials and all paints and adhesives are non-toxic and low-VOC. Integrating such materials into the project increases the space’s indoor environmental quality and reduces off-gassing and toxicity related health risks. A study conducted by T·H·A demonstrates that worker absenteeism has dropped since the firm moved into the new space.

Seventy-five percent of construction and demolition waste was recycled. When asked about how he organized on-site recycling, Fong notes, "We just looked through the phone book and called up METRO and some other places". The team contracted with Waste Management, who provides commingled recycling services, to facilitate bin retrieval and tracking. The weight tickets provided by Waste Management serve as sufficient documentation to earn the LEED credit for C&D waste recycling. This was the team’s first LEED project and Fong points out that the recycling objectives also resulted in the discovery of new recycling resources for items such as old ballasts. The building’s sheetrock contained lead and interior plaster had toxic finishes, which inhibited those materials from being recycled.

Installation of the HVAC system was difficult due to space limitations and the design team integrated mechanical and electrical needs with the visual impact of these components and the division of thermal zones throughout the office. Data and power cabling runs parallel with the duct work.

Keys to Success - Construction:
  • Contract with a local waste hauler to recycle and document C&D waste
  • Install HVAC system in a manner that respect's design objectives