Historic Portland Warehouse Restored for LEED Platinum Offices
The Mercy Corps Global Headquarters restored the 1892 historic Packer-Scott building, 42,000-square-foot grocery warehouse, and added an addition of nearly the same size. Mercy Corps, a global aid agency, not only wanted to occupy a building that reflected its sustainability values but also chose to relocate to an economically challenged area near downtown Portland in an effort to revitalize it.
“[A] big part of Mercy Corps choosing the site was to promote the economic sustainability of a neglected neighborhood in Portland. This district—Old Town Chinatown—at the time and arguably still, is trying to reemerge as a vital economic place. This was a real pioneering move to put their headquarters in this district in order to improve the safety and vitality of the district,” said David Keltner, Design Principal, THA Architecture.
The new addition features a glazed curtain wall that brings natural light into the space and offers views to the Willamette River. Rather than mimic the existing brick structure, the red terra-cotta addition complements it. The LEED Platinum-certified building achieves 51 percent energy savings over a building built to code due in part to new windows, a highly insulated skin and a daylit atrium. The project received all LEED Credits for Energy and Atmosphere, a difficult feat. An on-site photovoltaic array offsets 7.5 percent of the building’s energy use.
“For Mercy Corps, I think it’s to their benefit to be able to have the people who are donating the money to know that the organization is thinking about the entire environment and thinking about its commitment to sustainability in terms of lower operating costs through energy savings and being good stewards,” said Will Dann, Principal, THA Architecture.
Gross Area: 84,700 square feet
Cost: $21.3 million
Completed: October 2009
Distinction: LEED Platinum
Owner: Mercy Corps
Owner’s Representative: Shiels Obletz Johnsen
Architecture: THA Architecture
Interior Design: DECA inc.
Commissioning and MEP: Glumac
Structural: ABHT Structural Engineers
Contractor: Walsh Construction Company
LEED Consultant: Green Building Services
Landscape Architect: Walker Macy