In May 2010, a majority of Port of Portland employees were consolidated into a new Port headquarters building at Portland International Airport. The building, shaped to echo the hull of a ship or the wing of a plane, sits on top of a 3,000-space long-term parking garage at PDX; both the office space and parking garage were designed to be models of sustainable design and construction. The building was recently awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum Certification and has received numerous local national and international awards for its environmental features.
The building features both tried and true resource conservation measures, like using energy efficient lighting, materials from renewable or recyclable sources, and water efficient fixtures. It also relies on innovations like ground-source heating and cooling produced through a closed-loop system reaching 300 feet below the surface and a Living Machine® system, which recycles wastewater onsite for reuse in the building's toilets and cooling towers.

No state or local tax funds were involved in the new structure. The overall building cost $241 million—$156 million for the parking garage, pedestrian tunnels and related utilities, and $85 million for the offices. The new garage was funded with a combination of available working capital in the PDX Port cost center and revenues from the Port cost center, which includes parking, rental car, air cargo, and other revenues collected at the airport. The office building is funded with a combination of available working capital in the PDX Port cost center and airport revenue bonds paid for by the Port cost center.

The 10-story building was inspired by the form of an airplane hull, and it sits right in front of the PDX main terminal on top of a new parking structure. The consolidation of the Port of Portland’s offices and employees will place about 230 people into the new building in hopes of improving work efficiency and created a unified front. The office floor plan is open to encourage collaboration and a more unified organizational culture. The use of natural daylighting and smart lighting controls creates a more agreeable work environment for the employees.

The 9th floor of the building features an eco roof that collects rainwater and minimizes stormwater runoff, and a green roof planted with drought tolerant plants is located on the other side of the building. Two hundred geothermal wells provide ground source heating and cooling, and an auxiliary cooling tower kicks in for peak periods. A reflective roof membrane, high-performance glazing, and energy-efficient lighting minimize energy demand for the building. Additionally, a Living Machine processes all of the building’s waste water from toilets, sinks and showers for reuse in toilet flushing and the HVAC cooling tower.

The LEED platinum certification is the latest in a long string of awards the building has garnered since it was completed in May 2010. Awards include:

City of Portland Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow Green Building Award
State of Oregon Sustainability Award
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance BetterBricks Award
Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Leadership Award
Forbes Top Ten Most High Tech Green Buildings in the World


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