Located at the region's front door, the Port of Portland's new headquarters includes innovations in green technology applications
Monday, May 3, will mark the first official day in a new headquarters building for more than 450 Port of Portland employees. Staffs from the downtown Portland headquarters and the airport terminal are consolidating in offices situated on three floors built atop the new seven-story long-term parking garage at Portland International Airport.
|Perhaps the most innovative environmental feature of the Port's new headquarters building is the Living Machine® system in the lobby. It's an ecological wastewater treatment alternative that treats wastewater for reuse in the building's toilets and cooling tower using natural, tidal wetland like processes.
A showcase for sustainable practices, the 205,000-square foot office building incorporates many state-of-the-art green technologies; its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, gold rating is pending. Visitors to the new building's lobby will see what looks like a large indoor garden but which actually is a functioning indoor wetland. Called a Living Machine® system, this ecological wastewater treatment alternative treats wastewater for reuse in the building's toilets and cooling tower. It is the largest commercial office building with the Living Machine® system in the western United States.
Underneath the building, more than
200 pipes provide ground source heating and cooling in a closed loop system,
serving the passive radiant ceiling panel heating and cooling inside. This is
the first coupling of these heating and cooling systems in the United States.
Features like daylighting, window glazing, fixed exterior shading,
water-efficient fixtures, and a 10,000-square foot eco-roof help save energy,
water and money. All combined, the building will use 75 percent less water and
36 percent less energy compared to a standard building of the same size. But
the green technologies are just part of the sustainability picture at the new
"It is important to us that the building provides value to our customers and reflects this region's commitment to sustainability. This includes considering how our choices affect the environment, the economy and the community we serve." said Bill Wyatt, Port executive director.
Minority and small business jobs generator
Approximately 2,500 construction and related workers put in more than one million hours of work on the project during the three-year building process at a time when Oregon saw unemployment rates rise to double digits.
The Port focused on increasing the involvement of small and minority businesses in the project and awarded $45.8 million in contracts to about 70 local, small businesses. Overall, small businesses received about 24 percent of the work, far exceeding a 15 percent goal for the project. Thirteen firms that worked on the project were graduates of the Port's Mentor Protégé program, which helps build effective working and learning relationships between leaders of mature, established companies and emerging minority- and women-owned companies. The building was also a training site for future construction workers. Apprentices performed 20 percent of the labor hours on the project, and 8 percent of the apprentices were women or people of color.
Much of the Port's original furniture was reused in the new headquarters. File cabinets, bookcases and other storage units were repainted; chairs were reupholstered; and furniture was refinished. Items from the downtown Port building that couldn't be used in the new headquarters were transferred to other Port facilities or left in the building to become the property of the building's new owner.
Reclaimed old-growth fir from piers dismantled at the Port's marine Terminal 4 in the late 1990s was reused in the building entry lobby while cobblestones installed in the entry plaza once served as ballast in ships. Art pieces from the PDX offices and the downtown building were moved to the new headquarters, and some new pieces by five Northwest artists were also installed.
Dollars and "sense"
No state or local tax dollars were used and no increase in airport fees resulted from the new Port headquarters building. The office building was funded with a combination of available working capital in the PDX Port Cost Center and airport revenue bonds paid for by the cost center. The new garage was funded with a combination of available PDX Port Cost Center working capital and revenues which includes parking, rental car, air cargo, and other revenues collected at the airport.
The Port sold its downtown headquarters building in December 2007 to Washington Real Estate Holdings, Inc. A new tenant, Northwest Evaluation Associates, has already signed a lease for the space. Proceeds from the sale of the building provided significant resources to the Port's General Fund that can be reinvested in vital marine infrastructure improvements. Space vacated in the airport terminal building will also be leased to other users.
"Consolidating Port staff at the new headquarters is more than just a move; it is a cultural shift," said Wyatt. "The world of international trade and travel is changing rapidly, requiring that the Port be nimble, efficient and better able to collaboratively address challenges and opportunities across all of our business lines - marine, aviation and industrial development. Having most of our staff in one location will help eliminate duplicate costs, improve productivity and streamline processes while encouraging more teamwork and cross-functional problem solving."
|The new headquarters will allow the Port to gain operational efficiencies and reduce redundant costs that result from having multiple office locations.
||The Port's new headquarters building is conveniently located on Airport Way just east of the airport's main terminal and short term parking garage.
New contact information, events
Port staff moved into the building May 3. Phone numbers changed, but former numbers will forward for one year. The new address is 7200 N.E. Airport Way, Portland, OR 97218. The main phone number is 503.415.6000. E-mail addresses remain the same.
The Port plans to share many of the sustainability aspects of the building with the community by providing tours and venues for community events. A public open house is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On time and on budget
"I am very proud of the headquarters and parking garage project," says Wyatt. "Not only have we finished the project on time and on budget, we have built an innovative, sustainable office and invested in long-term ease of access to the airport that will serve the Port and our customers well for years to come."
Port of Portland Headquarters Building Media Contacts and Related Links
Port of Portland
Worrell Water Technologies
Will Kirksey, Senior Vice President
To set up an interview, call Caroline March-Long at 1.434.295.5938
Amy Columbo, ZGF Media Contact,
Doug Sams, Sustainable Design Features,
Bob Packard, ZGF Managing Partner,
Gene Sandoval, Architectural Design,
Sustainability Fact Sheet
Project Fact Sheet
Port of Portland Headquarters Virtual Tour
Worrell Water Technologies