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OHSU Center For Health & Healing Receives Best Business Award In Green Building

The City of Portland award recognizes sustainable practices in local businesses

Oregon Health & Science University received yet another accolade for its sustainable building, the Center for Health & Healing, on Thursday, April 19, 2007.

The building was named one of two recipients of the City of Portland's Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Award in Green Building, rising from a pool of eight candidates in the category. It shares the award with the 200 Market Building, a mixed office- and retail-space building located in downtown Portland.

The BEST Awards honors local businesses that have strived to make sustainability a part of their business practices. The awards are administered by the City of Portland and are selected from a pool of local applicant businesses ranging in size and focus by a panel of local judges.

The Center recently became the first medical and research facility in the nation to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification, the highest designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, which oversees the LEED rating system. It is one of only 30 buildings across the nation to achieve this distinction.

Some of the features of the 400,000-square-foot Center include:

  • Energy efficiency 61 percent higher than required by Oregon code.
  • Uses 60 percent less potable water than similar buildings.
  • On-site sewage treatment facility.
  • Recycled use of harvested rainwater for landscaping, rescuing 15,000 gallons of water from the city's sewer system daily.
  • Occupancy-controlled lighting.
  • Chilled beams for cooling systems and a solar air heater for heating systems.
  • Use of sustainable and lower-toxicity materials in interior finishes and furnishings, including low volatile organic compound paints and sealants, sustainably manufactured carpeting systems and use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products.

The building represents the state-of-the-art in integrative design, a process in which all project team members provided an exceptional level of collaboration. Key team members, in addition to OHSU and the OHSU Medical Group included Gerding Edlen Development, the development managers; GBD Architects and Interface Engineering, Inc., who were responsible for the design of the building and its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; Walker Macy, the landscape designers; Hoffman Construction Co., who built it; and Brightworks, the sustainability advisors who coordinated the green building strategies Also involved in the project were KPFF Consulting Engineers and Peterson Kohlberg Associates.

For more information about the Center for Health & Healing, go to

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