Portland’s First Living Building in the Heart of Downtown

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we thought we'd share a spot of good news. On March 31, 2020, Owen Blank and Rachel Atchison helped their client close on the beginning of Portland’s first living building, which will be located at SW 1st Avenue and SW Pine Street. The “Living Building” will meet the world’s most stringent sustainability standards. It will have many amazing attributes, like use of filtered heat recovery ventilation and cross-laminated timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council; here are just the top five features of the project:

  1. 100% of the Living Building’s water demand will be satisfied from rainwater, collected and treated onsite, stored in an underground cistern. Also, it will use 73% less water per square foot than a building built to code and 66% less water per square foot compared to the typical low flow building.

  2. The Living Building will get more energy than it needs to operate from its rooftop and dedicated offsite solar panels. That, plus purchasing some carbon credits will offset its already reduced refrigerants and embodied carbon emissions, and will result in negative carbon emissions.

  3. 70% of the Living Building can be ventilated and/or cooled with operable windows and 39% of workspaces enjoy direct daylight throughout the year (when we actually see the sun, that is).

  4.  Most of the Living Building’s blackwater will be diverted to create liquid and powdered fertilizer. The Living Building will produce 79% less liquid waste per square foot than a building built to code and 72% less liquid waste per square foot compared to the typical low flow building.

  5. The Living Building makes good business sense. It is a collaboration among significant players in the most sophisticated space of Oregon’s real estate market: Downtown Development Group, Gerding Edlen, ZGF Architects, PAE Architects and Engineers, and Walsh Construction, forging a path that smart business people will follow. The Living Building’s designated broker is Apex Real Estate Partners.

The Living Building will be a Portland first, satisfying the most stringent sustainability standards around. You want to be there. Its windows open.

Read more on the Living Building here and more on the history of its development at our blog post here.


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