Portland is home to many of the most accomplished efforts at green building in the country, in categories ranging from historic preservation to condominiums to medical research facilities. But what will the city's next accomplishment be?
One possible answer will be presented at the next Bright Lights city design discussion, as two of Portland's top sustainability experts present early conceptual design for what they hope will become the first high-rise "living building" in the world—the Oregon Sustainability Center at Portland State University.
With a freshly completed feasibility study in hand, Ralph DiNola of Green Building Services and Dennis Wilde of Gerding Edlen Development will offer their team's research about how a 200,000-square-foot urban high-rise might be designed and built with a zero carbon footprint, generating all of its own power and processing all of its own waste on-site. Already the project is meeting major challenges, from economics (the first-draft design's curving form is being squared off to be built more cheaply) to aesthetics (local design aficionados have attacked it on the blogs).
The proposed building is an unusual collaboration between the Oregon University System, the Portland Development Commission, and the Oregon Living Building Initiative, the latter a consortium of nonprofits working on sustainability initiatives. If built, it would rise on the PSU campus to become the city and state's regional green hub.
The evening promises to be an exhilarating look at the possibilities and problems of next-generation green building with two of the city's—indeed, the nation's—top sustainability experts.
Dennis Wilde's passion for sustainable urban development runs deep. From his graduate studies in architecture and urban planning to his current role at Gerding Edlen, environmental responsibility and smart design are central to his philosophy. He first realized the possibilities of sustainability from a business perspective while attending a workshop on the Natural Step (naturalstep.org) in 1997, the same year he joined Gerding Edlen. As Gerding Edlen's designated "green guy," Dennis has encouraged increased sustainability in the company's development projects while building a strong case for the economic and social benefits of environmental responsibility. Dennis's responsibilities include feasibility studies, management of the pre-construction process, and overall project management. He also serves on the board of the Oregon Natural Step Network.
As principal and senior design consultant at Green Building Services (GBS), Ralph DiNola is currently involved with nearly 20 projects—among them, the country's first LEED Gold certified winery, Stoller Vineyards Winery in Dayton, Oregon. Also on the list is the Oregon Convention Center, which participated in the LEED-EB pilot program (usgbc.org/LEED/eb), resulting in energy savings of 30 percent (roughly $110,000 per year). Ralph has worked with the University of Oregon's Department of Architecture to develop and deliver curriculum using the Living Building Challenge rating system as a design framework. He also has led GBS's transition into a carbon neutral consulting practice. This has involved the acquisition of carbon offsets and green power to account for 100 percent of the emissions associated with business operations.
Sponsored in part by the Architecture Foundation of Oregon, Bright Lights is a joint presentation by Portland Spaces and the City Club of Portland. It is held the second Monday of every month (except August) at Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Ave. Doors open at 5:30. Presentation begins promptly at 6 p.m.
Added by multimodal on July 9, 2009