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Two Portland, Ore., Buildings Earn LEED Certification
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Two office buildings in Portland, Ore., have achieved LEED Certification by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC).
Portland’s treasured 400 SW Sixth Avenue, an 11-story Class-A office building, was honored with LEED Certification at the Silver level. The Cascade Building, located at 520 SW Sixth Avenue, was also awarded the prestigious LEED for Existing Buildings, Operation and Maintenance (EBOM) Certification. Both tremendous achievements were spearheaded by building owner, Felton Properties Inc., property management firm NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson and sustainable design consulting firm ecoREAL Solutions.
As two well-respected buildings essential to Portland’s cityscape, 400 SW Sixth Avenue and the Cascade Building have contributed more than just a skyline.
400 SW Sixth Avenue was originally known as the First National Bank Building, a project built on the demolished site of the bank’s former 1923 headquarters. The six-story structure opened its doors in 1960 only to add five more stories in 1992. Iconic to the city, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Similarly, the Cascade Building is both a national and city landmark and has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1989. Built in 1926, it is a 12-story high rise in the heart of downtown.
As both buildings have significant cultural and historical value to Portland, Felton Properties wanted to recommit their legacy toward a sustainable future with LEED certification.
“Felton Properties was excited to have received LEED designation on its two major downtown properties,” Matt Felton, co-founder, Felton Properties, explained. “While the properties were not newly constructed, efficiency, sustainability and sensitivity to the environment are initiatives that we take very seriously in operating our real estate.”
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rigorous point-based certification program that measures a building’s sustainability efforts. The thorough application process assesses how a building reduces non-renewable energy and water consumption. Points are attributed to a building’s design, maintenance and operation, and as an evolving industry, LEED’s standards are always progressing with new technology and research. This can pose quite the challenge for older buildings seeking certification such as 400 SW Sixth Avenue and the Cascade Building.
In 2013, Felton Properties tasked a team with the goal of attaining LEED certification for the 57-year-old 400 SW Sixth Avenue Building and 88-year-old Cascade Building. Over the course of a year, Felton Properties, NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson and ecoREAL Solutions worked together before submitting the building’s respective applications in early 2014.
“The strength of USGBC has always been the collective strength of our leaders in the building industry,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S Green Building Council.
400 SW Sixth Avenue’s improvement efforts entailed a renovated lobby and exterior, 25-foot glass entries from Sixth Avenue, a new 20-foot Digital art wall, as well as art projects inside the lobby. With Cascade’s last major renovation completed in 1992, the team implemented several developments as well, including a retrofitted HVAC system. The team’s collaboration and hard work won 400 SW Sixth Avenue LEED Silver and the Cascade EBOM certification in summer 2014.
“Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of building industry in that effort, Felton Properties demonstrated their leadership through their LEED certification,” added Rick Fedrizzi.
Yet certification wasn’t the only success. Energy costs for the two properties are now under $1.50 per square foot, which also bodes well for leasing efforts.
“As Tenants now regularly demand office space that is energy efficient, with property management that employs sustainable practices and use of materials, we feel that we are on the cutting edge of this trend,” Matt Felton said.