Project Size (sf / site acreage):
121,800 sf / 2.96 acres
Budget ($/sq Ft, optional):
MulvannyG2 Architecture (pending)
Macy and Viridian Environmental Design, LLC
Luma Lighting Design
KPFF Consulting Engineers
Three Phase Electric
Green Building Services (pending)
Air Quality Consultant:
MGH Associates and Flowing Solutions
Owner’s Project Manager, Brian Keicher & LEED consultant, Green Building Services
Portland City Storage
The goal of the Portland City Storage project is to fill the need for a dry boat storage facility to reduce river contamination from storing motorized boats in the Willamette River and rehabilitate the area. The innovative storage facility will house 350 boats and light watercraft in two storage buildings with dock operations, retail space, offices, and amenities in the podium. Site development consists of a new riverbank, docks, boat launches, and elevated greenway trail. The project will be sited in the Central Eastside Industrial District of Portland, Oregon. The area, located along the east bank of the Willamette River, is saturated with warehouses, distribution facilities, and manufacturing. The vacant site has been a dumping ground for excess concrete from a nearby concrete batch plant for over 40 years. Approximately 10,000 cubic yards of excess concrete from the existing 30’ concrete seawall and the years of residual dumping plagues the natural environment along the river bank. The Portland City Storage project will remove the concrete debris and existing seawall structure and reconstruct the natural riverbank to restore the habitat for the juvenile salmonids that tend to utilize shallow waters along the river’s edge. The bank will be regraded, moving and recycling construction debris, and replacing with round gravel designed to reduce wave disturbances to the bank and provide habitat for species that live on the river bottom. The current concrete and gravel site will be re-vegetated with native and climate-adaptive plant species. The landscape is sustainable in its plant selection and long-term maintenance requirements. Lower growing species are located near access areas. Larger plants are placed away from pedestrian areas to screen, frame views, or provide visual interest. The development’s compact design and small footprint (39% lot coverage) will reduce the environmental impacts while creating a significant river-related use along the Willamette River.
Toward Zero Energy:
The project’s goal is to meet the USGBC LEED gold certification requirements and produce more power than it uses through alternative electrical power in the hopes of giving back to the Portland grid. The hybrid design will integrate a wind farm located at the top of the storage buildings and an innovative regenerative elevator system that feeds into the building system grid. Energy efficiency will also be seen through efficient light fixtures and mechanical systems throughout the building. Using median average figures based on average wind speed for the Portland metropolitan area, the wind farm should produce approximately 800,000 KWH of usable system power output per year. In times of higher than average wind speeds, common in Portland, there is a very real possibility of near “net zero” utility metering based on building use and occupancy at the time. An innovative regenerative system for the elevators and the electrical powered winches, used to haul boats out of the river, will generate a significant amount of electrical power to the building system grid. Using the power generated by this system will reduce the net power consumption by up to 70% compared to standard non-regenerative systems. The storage buildings housing the boats and watercraft will not need to be heated which will assist in the energy efficiency of the overall project. Efficient light fixtures will be key throughout the project for annual savings and is estimated to use an average of 20% less than Oregon Energy Code and Department of Energy’s revised national standards. The mechanical system designed for the building utilizes two pipe variable refrigerant flow zoning with inverter driven compressors allowing simultaneous cooling and heating for the different zones of the building maximizing comfort for each zone while resulting in virtually no energy waste. Instead of operating at a static speed, the inverter driven compressors run only at the speeds necessary to provide the required amount of heating and cooling thereby saving energy. This system alone is expected to optimize the energy performance of the building at a rate 21% to 25% better than a conventional code prescribed baseline building. Domestic hot water will be produced utilizing a high efficiency condensing style natural gas water heater with a thermal efficiency of 99%. With the all the systems above dialed in toward maximum efficiencies, the building hopes to optimally experience near “net-zero” utility metering.
Local and Sustainable Materials:
Even before the design of the project began, the Owner desired a highly sustainable project, and sought out a design team that was equally committed to sustainable practices in design. The owner is committed to lease agreements for potential tenants that include indoor material choices for best practices of sustainability, including the use of low to no VOC paints, natural resilient flooring, certified woods, and other materials with recycled content. In minimizing waste the intention was to reuse existing materials and recycle excess materials for use on other sites. The existing concrete found on the site will be ground up and used as granular base courses where needed and backfill for the project. The owner made a choice in the construction type of the building, and is utilizing new cast in place concrete for the building’s base which is manufactured at the concrete batch plant located on the adjacent site.
Portland City Storage’s main goal is to protect the Willamette River by storing motorized boats out of the water reducing river contamination. In addition, the project is removing the existing seawall containing hazardous materials, restoring fish and bird habitat, and educating the public about environmental stewardship and boater safety and responsibility. This project utilizes a stormwater management and drainage system that is classified as a Category 1 system, which is the highest rating in accordance with the Portland Stormwater Management Manual. This system includes provisions for both detention (quantity control) and treatment (quality control.) At asphalt paved areas, stormwater planters and bioswales will be used to pretreat all asphalt runoff. A flow-thru planter is designed along the east and south property lines. Drainage from the planter will be piped to the infiltration trenches located along the west side of the building. At porous concrete pavement surfaces, water quality treatment is provided by the filtering of stormwater as is moves though the pavement and aggregate base section. Stormwater will then infiltrate into the subgrade with excess stormwater being collected and piped to the infiltration trenches located at the west side of the building. The project also includes a rainwater harvesting system. The system can capture and store up to 52,000 gallons of rainwater for storage in two retention tanks and use as non potable water. This water is expected to be used for irrigation and boat washing and is calculated to save in excess of 20,000 gallons per month of potable water. Low flow plumbing fixtures for the building account for an additional 30% savings in potable water over a baseline building.
IEQ and Comfort:
The designers of Portland City Storage are committed to the philosophy that the needs of people dictate the built environment. The goal was to design the building for the people who use it. The podium includes retail and/or restaurant space, community meeting and waiting space, and club facilities like a pool, showers, and restrooms for the boaters. Operable windows, balconies, and large sliding wall panels along the river side of the building create a connection to the outdoors and allow the users to circulate fresh air. The building has an extensive glass façade for optimal views of the city. Balconies acting as sunshades are integrated into the design along the west side of the building. They will help control the temperature during the summer months and then take advantage of the natural sunlight during other times. The variable refrigerant flow zoning of the mechanical system described earlier includes advanced zone and individual room controls. The system is controlled through a networked computer allowing precise indoor comfort control.
Collective Wisdom and Feedback:
The Portland City Storage’s success is the direct result of collaboration between the owner and the designers, architects, engineers, consultants, and all other stakeholders. The utilization of a LEED consultant was ideal in maximizing the sustainable potential of the project. The LEED consultant assisted in finding hidden value and also facilitating group discussion. An eco-charette was arranged and incorporated all team members. They spent the day brainstorming, dissecting ideas, comparing past experiences, and working through potential issues. They went line item by line item through the LEED scorecard and asked themselves at each point, “What can we do better?” As well, the team has invested the design with feedback from various city, state, and national agencies. These include the City of Portland Planning Bureau, Bureau of Environmental Services, Bureau of Parks and Recreation, State of Oregon Department of State Lands Wetlands Division, Army Corps of Engineers, and National Marine Fisheries Service.
Portland City Storage aspires to combine beautiful design with the charge to be a responsible steward of the earth’s resources. This project strives to educate the community as to the effective use of alternative energy and the importance of revitalizing and protecting areas that have been neglected. Programmatically, the project responds to a shortage of places on the Willamette River to store boats. Dense storage of boats, out-of-the-water, competes favorably with traditional marinas and has less impact on river water quality. Portland City Storage will be unique as a dry boat storage facility for its publically accessible components and sustainable practices. As such, it will serve as a model for other similar developments in the region and beyond. The vertical-axis wind turbines located on the roofs of the storage buildings will call attention to the project’s capacity for alternative power generation. The rainwater harvesting systems will also be a very visible indication of the project’s commitment to sustainability. Portland City Storage will look to reinforce the educational aspect of this by offering tours to local schools and other educational entities such as the nearby Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This innovative project shows the community and the world that sustainable design should not be a simple choice but a mandate. Portland City Storage will have an immediate and positive impact on the local and regional environment.