Greenbuild 2007: Operational Building Winners

January 8, 2008

OHSU Center for Health and Healing in Portland, ORLast week’s post outlined the Living Building Challenge, established by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council. The Cascadia Region GBC, together with the U.S. GBC, hosted the Greenbuild 2007 Living Building Competition and six winners were announced in November.

Awards were granted to two different types of projects: Operational and On the Boards. Operational buildings are required to have been in use for at least one year before being evaluated, since Living Building status is granted based upon actual performance. On the Boards project awards reflect the conceptual nature of the Living Building Challenge: the goal of the challenge is to stimulate innovation in sustainable building.

The following three Operational buildings received awards:

  • The Oregon Health and Science University’s Center for Health and Healing in Portland earned The Stepping Stone Award — the highest award given. Designed by GBD Architects, this building was recognized for its performance in the Water Petal category. While the Center uses 5 million gallons of water per year, 1/2 million gallons fall on the site. This water is harvested and stored, then used for toilets, cooling, and irrigation. Wastewater is then treated by an onsite membrane bioreactor, and used again. This combination of water-saving strategies reduces the building’s potable water demand by 61%.
  • The Seminar II building, designed by Mahlum Architects for the Evergreen State University campus in Olympia, Washington, won a Demonstrated Leadership award for meeting Indoor Air Petal criteria. 80% of the building is naturally ventilated, and for spaces that do rely upon mechanical ventilation, an under-floor distribution system improves air circulation. Daylight reaches 86% of the teaching spaces (all but five lecture halls receive natural lighting). Furthermore, all materials in the building, including furnishings, were selected so as to minimize off-gassing.
  • The Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center at Westcave Preserve in Round Mountain, Texas was recognized for Demonstrated Leadership in the Beauty and Inspiration category. Jackson & McElhaney Architects designed this building. Because its purpose is to educate the public on nature and the environment, it was a natural fit for the Learning Center to incorporate eco-friendly building as one of its themes. The project’s description states:

The design of the structure was conceived of as a three-dimensional textbook. The architectural expression of the building is a framework for analogies between building materials and systems and how they mimic or model natural systems.

Look for an upcoming post this month to highlight the On the Boards winners from the Greenbuild 2007 Living Building Challenge competition….

Image credit: Greenbuild 2007 Living Building Challenge