The final beam to support the steel structure of Oregon Health & Science University's first building in the South Waterfront was put into place today. The beam, signed by members of the Ironworkers Local 29, was hoisted to the building's top carrying a union banner, an evergreen tree and an American flag.
The beam raising, known as a 'topping out' ceremony, also was an opportunity to honor construction workers for their outstanding work and remarkable safety record on the job.
"We deeply appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the construction workers who have brought this project along safely and on schedule. The skill and care they demonstrated in bringing this building out of the ground reflects the nature of this entire project," said Dave Crawford, chief financial officer of the OHSU Medical Group (OHSUMG).
"From the building's design to its construction to the medical care patients ultimately will receive here, this building represents the best that Oregon has to offer," Crawford said. OHSUMG comprises clinicians who care for patients in OHSU hospitals and clinics. The group has partnered with OHSU to finance and develop the building.
The 16-story, 400,000 square-foot structure will house OHSU physician practices, outpatient surgery, a wellness center, research labs and educational space. Construction began in spring 2004 and will be complete in fall 2006.
The building's environmentally sustainable design makes it unique among medical and research facilities. The building is expected to qualify for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification, and may even be eligible for platinum certification. To date, no similar medical and research building has received a platinum LEED rating.
"With the building now topped out, the real evidence of the remarkable energy and water
conservation features of this building will start to take shape," said Dennis Wilde, senior project manager at Gerding Edlen Development.
"The photovoltaic arrays on the building's south side will be going up with the installation of the curtainwall, the bioremediation plant will be installed in the basement to treat the waste water, and the microturbines are going in across the street to provide hot water and electricity," Wilde said.
Electricity, and hot and chilled water will be provided through the OHSU-affiliated central utility plant, which incorporates a combined heat and power design that uses almost 40 percent less fuel than a traditional fossil fuel-fired utility power plant.
A one-of-a-kind bioremediation plant will be built to filter up to twice the wastewater the building is expected to generate in one day. Independently of the city's sewer system, the plant will treat 30,000 gallons of water daily with fewer chemicals introduced into the environment than traditional water treatment.
The building's environmentally sustainable features include:
* Stone slabs on the first floor that store as much heat as a 3,000-gallon storage tank.
* Making use of rain water to flush all public fixtures.
* Using eco-roofs extensively.
* Recycling 95 percent of construction waste.
* Incorporating locally manufactured and extracted building materials.
* Using sustainably harvested woods.
* Capturing solar energy with photovoltaic panels on building's south side.