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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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Costs and Benefits

HVAC system: $63,000 ($11.50/sf)
Rainwater harvesting system: $2,500
Ecoroof: $4,750 ($19/sf without incentive, $9/sf with incentive)
Lighting (as proposed by utility consultants): $3,850

Designer David Wadley qualitatively notes:
  • The salvaged beams and framing in ready-made form were half as expensive as new materials.
  • The cost of remilled salvaged materials was at par with the cost of new materials but more difficult to source partly due to high demand.
  • The cost of the new wood alternatives never ranged more than 15% beyond typical new materials.
Construction accounted for roughly half of the costs while equipment, additional inventory, business disruptions and soft costs made up the remaining half. In the end, Wadley notes, "We did really well (financially)…we only added about 5-10% onto our costs".

Savings and Benefits
The final design resulted in a building that consumes 16% less energy than Oregon Energy Code and saves roughly $1,700 a year in energy costs (based on rate of $.07/kWh).

The incremental cost of the HVAC system, compared to a baseline code-compliant system, was $26,000. People’s received $9,100 in Business Energy Tax Credits from the State’s Office of Energy and a $10,000 Emerging Technology Grant from the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development ($5,000 of which was for the HVAC system) as an incentive to build the system. Based on projected energy savings, the incremental cost payback period is seven years with these incentives.

The 246-ft2 ecoroof attenuates roughly 5,000 gallons of water a year. All of this water is harvested in an underground cistern located in the courtyard. Total cost for the ecoroof was $4,750 ($19/sf) and People’s received a $2,500 grant from the Community Watershed Stewardship Program that reduced the cost to $2,250 ($9/sf).

A lighting analysis by PGE revealed a building lighting program that would save 11,459 kWh beyond a baseline Oregon Energy Code-compliant design. Total cost for the lighting program was $3,850 and it is projected to yield $573 in annual energy savings. The payback period is 6.1 years with PGE’s $360 rebate and 6.7 without.

The construction and renovation, especially the volunteer workshop and sustainable building strategies, generated a great deal of public exposure. The project was highlighted in a number of publications including the Portland Tribune, the Oregonian, Natural Home magazine, OPB radio, the Portland Alliance, and the Willamette Week.
The store was able to remain open during the expansion and addition and, despite construction-related shopping conditions, experienced 6% annual growth during the project. 2003 sales have been up over 50% from last year (pre-expansion) and membership has increased by 30%, up to around 2,000 members.