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If an earthquake were to happen tomorrow, the maintenance, construction, and operations personnel at our North Interstate Facility buildings would be able to access the equipment and tools they need to respond to the City’s water emergencies.
In 2015, two new buildings were unveiled at the Water Bureau’s Interstate Facility site. These new buildings replaced the aging brick buildings – along with the leaky roofs and other poor building conditions that came with them – that once housed the bureau’s essential maintenance equipment and personnel. The original facilities, the oldest of which was built in 1925, were constructed without earthquake resiliency and energy efficiency in mind.
But now, the new facilities – just like our operations personnel – go the extra mile.
Not only would the Interstate Facility be able to remain operational in the event of an earthquake, the two new Interstate Maintenance Facility buildings have been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient: They use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse carbon emissions. As an added bonus, they save money in the form of reduced operating costs. LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings.
The new Interstate Facility achieved LEED certification for implementing “green” construction solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Among the green features is a solar array, eco (green) roof, and a unique system of stormwater infiltration galleries that retains all stormwater on site and slowly releases it into the ground. No stormwater on the site enters the city sewer system. As a result of careful design, the two buildings’ overall energy expenses are projected to be reduced by 30 percent.
“LEED certification identifies the Water Bureau’s Interstate Facility as a showcase example of sustainability and demonstrates their leadership in transforming the building industry,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Buildings that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment, and reducing operating costs while prioritizing sustainable practices.”
Contractors for the design and construction of the project were MWA Architects, Hoffman Construction Company, ABHT Structural Engineers, Lango Hanson Landscape Architects, Interface Engineering, KPFF Consulting Engineers, and MEC Electrical Engineering.
One new building is the Shops, Stores, and Warehouse building which supports the maintenance, construction, and operations for the complex infrastructure that delivers drinking water to the Portland metro area. It is rated a Category 4 Essential Facility by the International Building Code. This means that when a major earthquake or other catastrophic event hits our region, the building will remain functional so that Water Bureau staff will be able to focus on restoring Portland’s water service.