The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) federal building is an 18-storey 47,610 sqm office building in downtown portland. The building’s mechanical and electrical engineering systems, completed in 1974, were worn out. In addition to upgrading the building systems, updating the working environment and upgrading accessibility, the design needed to meet recently released stringent energy and water conservation requirements.
The project’s unique ‘reed’ façade provides a native ecosystem for plant growth, shading is adjusted on each façade to reduce solar radiation, and the roof awning supports a 180 kw photovoltaic array while collecting rainwater. The project extends the boundaries of the design. The strong connection between landscape and architecture provides a unique setting for the rebirth of this urban building, and the vertical greenery changes with each sun exposure, conveying gsa’s green commitment to the city.
The primary design goal was to transform the existing building from an old and energy-intensive structure into one of the premier environmentally friendly buildings in the united states. During the high performance green building (hpgb) workshop, the design team identified various feasible energy conservation measures (ecm’s) to begin with and spent three months analysing which measures would deliver the most value through physical, virtual and energy modelling. Once the team had completed their analysis, designexcellence began to translate the data into an integrated aesthetic design that focused on communicating sustainability measures on an emotional and physical level.
In addition to this, the building’s renovation set a precedent for how mid-last century high-rise buildings can be reused and adapted to new functions and requirements, another important green strategy. Recognise this. The design of the renovation deliberately reveals the building’s history, by combining original steel and concrete with modern glass balustrades and sleek walls, thus demonstrating the craftsmanship of egww’s original design.
In contrast to the current building, egww is a model project for the gsa nationwide, both as a premier office space for the federal government and as an energy-efficient retrofit project. The final platinum award green building (leed) project is expected to exceed arra requirements and be one of the least energy-intensive buildings in the united states.