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OSC Building The Green Future

2010 – Birth Of Oregon Sustainability Center’s Living Building

osc-drawingLater this year construction will begin on the edge of the Portland State University campus in downtown Portland, for a living building – the Oregon Sustainability Center (OSC). Bringing together academic, government, nonprofit and business sectors to advance the region’s innovation in sustainability.

The Oregon Sustainability Center is a collaborative effort of the Oregon University System in partnership with the City of Portland, the Portland Development Commission, Portland Sustainability Institute, and a group of leading environmental organizations led by the Oregon Environmental Council and Earth Advantage Institute.

A hub for sustainable practices, policy, education, research and entrepreneurship. It will be a replicable model for meeting the challenges of the 21st century economy by creating new industries and spawning new green jobs.

The OSC will achieve triple net-zero performance in energy and water use and carbon emissions. In doing so, show that it is possible to build a net-zero urban high-rise building that uses only renewable energy produced on-site.

streetcarWater flowing through the Center will follow natural patterns of the local hydrological cycle. Only rainwater that falls on-site will be used, treated within the building, and filtered into local aquifers.

The roofs and canopies of the Center will funnel rain water into a 200,000-gallon storage tank in the basement, enough to provide for the building throughout the dry season. Treated graywater will replace potable water in most systems in the building including flushing toilets, irrigation, or cooling mechanical equipment.

Wastewater from toilets, known as blackwater, is not as easily treated or reused. The Center will use an intense biological wastewater treatment system to clean blackwater’s higher level of contamination, a system that mimics the cleaning and filtering processes found in nature.The Center’s biological wastewater treatment system will look like a garden. Once treated, the water will be reused as graywater or returned to the ground naturally (along with excess rainfall), through porous surfaces, a groundwater recirculation system under the building, and a green street next to the building.

Passive energy systems are the backbone of the Center’s design, capitalizing on natural systems like solar orientation, thermal mass, and heat transfer. The Center will provide 100% of its energy from within an area smaller than a single city block. Four types of photovoltaics, including panels that cover the roof, the canopies, and integrate into the skin and sunshades of the building, will be used to generate all of the building’s electricity.

sustainability-centerSmart design coupled with tenant awareness and behavior is anticipated to push energy use reduction to more than 70% below that of a typical office building. Sensors throughout the building will be able to take stock of energy use on an individual level, keeping track of typically “unregulated” plug loads like task lighting and small appliances. Able to see how they use—and waste—energy, tenants can more closely manage their personal energy use.

The OSC will use only non-toxic, resource-wise, locally sourced and healthy materials, creating a healthy and productive indoor environment. No carbon emissions will emanate from the building, which will adhere to the strict standards of net-zero energy and water performance.

OSC’s mission statements says it all – To encourage the creation of Living Buildings, Sites and Communities in countries around the world while inspiring, educating and motivating a global audience about the need for fundamental and transformative change.

…. as the green future unfolds.

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20 Responses to “OSC Building The Green Future”

  1. Latarsha Rickabaugh Says:

    Nice Website. You should think more about RSS Feeds as a traffic source. They bring me a nice bit of traffic.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Latarsha … Thank you! How about sharing a tip about RSS feed traffic. 😀

  3. Apollo Says:

    It’s nice to see more and more prototype projects being build across the world. I think lack of capital is what really holds back an acceleration in green projects.
    .-= Apollo´s last blog ..June 2010 Ad Special =-.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Apollo …. That is one reason (capital) but add to it politics … If we had capital, I believe it would really take off.

  5. winter_gurl Says:

    Now every place ,especially big city is hot , because the developer cut all the tree ….no more green tree

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Winter_gurl …. Yep! They certainly did! More and more cities are trying to plant trees and green up the downtown areas.

  7. RE - RecycledFrockery Says:

    I hope this becomes the standard for building everywhere. we could certainly use a more sustainable model. I like that fact that the building learns about the occupants usage and supplies accordingly. that’s a very smart building indeed. Another Great Post Girly.
    .-= RE – RecycledFrockery´s last blog ..Hay Fool Shut Your Pipe Hole – Literally =-.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi RE … I really like it and hope that it will catch on in the bigger cities for sure! 😀

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  10. Orlandy Says:

    It would be nice to think that as more new buildings are built with sustainability in mind, it will gather momentum and become the norm….. then all there is to do is revamp old, energy inefficient buildings!
    .-= Orlandy´s last blog ..Best Environmental Initiative, Best of Abu Dhabi Awards =-.

  11. Linda Says:

    Hi Orlandy …. Just imagine empty buildings looking like this? What a way to use idle space.

  12. Cosmos Says:

    It is nice to see that the center will come up with greenery and be natural like a green mountain.
    .-= Cosmos´s last blog ..Garden in glass jar – Silica Garden! =-.

  13. Linda Says:

    Hi Cosmos … It is and sustainable as well! 😀

  14. Eve Says:

    While looking at the image I thought, how wonderful to see a city full of these unique and beautiful buildings… that would truly be the future. I’m glad Oregon is setting an example of how being self-sustaining in a city is not only do-able, but most achievable.

  15. Linda Says:

    Hi Eve … That really would be cool to see! Oregon is certainly moving forward and not letting any dust gather on their feet. 😀

  16. pro model razor scooter Says:

    I noticed something the same as this on the news

  17. Linda Says:

    Hi pro model …. Thanks for coming by and come back again.

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  19. Lissof Says:

    The people of Oregon and the city of Portland have a history of being environmentally responsibile. This project will have strong support for it’s success from the people who will become the tennats and active participants in the functioning of the building.

    I look forward to followup information on the project after it has time to collect dataa on performance of the building and the project as a whole.

  20. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof … It will certainly be interesting to see if the tenants get involved. My belief is that they will once they see what transpires each and every season.

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