World’s greenest building?

Unlike many so-called ‘green’ buildings built in greenfields that require driving to get to, LEED standards rating of 66 out of 69 points, the highest rating ever achieved by a commercial building, it’s justifiable in aspiring to be called the world’s greenest building.

As a sign of the times that driving is considered less and less a right than a privilege, the newest LEED standards (Version 3) have increased the importance of a building’s urban location from 1 point to 5. Other than its location, Independence Station’s myriad green features include:

– Net positive energy flow, with the third largest solar PV installation in Oregon (130 kw)
– Habitat restoration along adjacent creek, blackwater waste treatment bioreactor, natural wastewater treatment ponds
– Organic-production greenhouses and tilapia farming to produce food for the community
– Biodiesel-fueled cogeneration and thermal storage system with backup provided by a retired tug-boat engine named Mabel that runs on waste vegetable oil from local restaurants.
– Rainwater harvesting
– Greenroof and landscaped third floor courtyard
– Solar water heating; radiant floor heating and cooling
– Extensive daylighting and LEDs throughout the development
– Water-source geothermal heating and cooling
– Utility costs of 92% less than a conventional building of the same size and type

Public amenities include an open space with cafe seating, water features, paths and sustainability educational opportunities via classes, workshops and tours.

Scheduled for first phase completion in 2010, the $15 million, 57,000 s.f. development will have fifteen 1- to 2-bedroom units ranging from 600 to 1600 s.f. with prices from the $300s to the $600s; 11,900 s.f. of office space; 13,700 s.f. of retail; 4200 s.f. of basement level retail; and an alternative energy research center for Oregon State University’s Chemical Engineering Department.

Victoria’s Dockside Green is the current title holder for world’s greenest building.

  • ” . . . LEED standards rating of 66 out of 69 points, the highest rating ever achieved by a commercial building, it”s justifiable in calling itself the world”s greenest building”

    Um, justifiable in *aspiring* to be that, perhaps. But since LEED only certifies completed buildings, it can’t be said that it has “achieved” anything yet. But I totally applaud the intention and the urban location. You are absolutely right that LEED and the “green” building crowd has and still does give little attention to the negative environmental impacts of sprawl locations.

    Love what I’ve seen of Dockside Green.

  • Thanks – see edit :) Though, that’s why there’s a question mark in the title :)

  • Justin Swabash

    Great post! Although too bad about the Post-Modernism architecture and the parking amenities behind the building. Why don’t they do this with older buildings rather then with just new ones? (like the neighborhoods around Washington D.C.) If they do do that, why must the added-on green technology degrade the architecture of the older buildings? Why not mend the technology to stay within architecture of the older building?

    I can understand why they chose Post-Modernism for this building, however. Post-Modernism works best with clunky, large, rectangle/square shaped techno add-on’s to buildings.

    Anyways, keep up the good work Neil

  • Rian

    It looks like the first paragraph should probably read:

    Unlike many so-called “green” buildings built in greenfields that require driving to get to, Independence Station in Portland, Oregon is located within the city”s urban fabric. With a LEED standards rating of 66 out of 69 points, the highest rating ever achieved by a commercial building, it”s justifiable in aspiring to be called the world”s greenest building.

    (Hopefully that is helpful to those having trouble with the link.)

    Since I live in Portland, I was curious to see where in the city Independence Station is located. I had a hard time finding a street address on the projects website, but after a little google-mapping I found it: 203 Monmouth Street, Independence, OR 97351

    Oddly, the town of Independence is more a future suburb of Salem (our Oregon’s capital city) than a part of Portland metropolitan area much less Portland’s urban fabric. Its a long drive from downtown even on a sunny day without traffic.