Sustainability center team looks to future projects
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The companies who worked on the Oregon Sustainability Center are looking toward the next ambitious green project.
The companies that spent hours of staff time working on the Oregon Sustainability Center project are looking ahead to the next green building challenge and say it won't be long before Portland has another ambitious project in the works.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams announced last week he was abandoning the project, which was aiming for city council approval this month, saying he didn't have the votes to support it.
For starters, Interface Engineering, the company that stepped in with a lease agreement this fall to breathe new financial life into the stalled project, is going to need a new home.
Omid Nabipoor, Interface's Portland-based president, said his firm's lease is up in September 2014, which is why he pressed for a decision on the fate of the sustainability center project during Adams' tenure.
"We needed to know if the project was going forward, our lease is coming up," Nabipoor said. "It was unfortunate that it got caught up in politics."
Nabipoor is preparing a call for letters of interest to work with Interface to develop another ultra-green building somewhere near downtown to serve as home base for the firm's 110 Portland-based employees.
He wants the building to be cutting-edge green, but whether or not it goes for the Living Building designation that the sustainability center was pursuing will depend on a number of factors. A green retrofit of an existing building, for example, wouldn't qualify for all the points needed to reach the Living Building standard.
"Our goal is to be in a highly sustainable building," he said. Nabipoor added that Portland has an extraordinary deep bench of firms with experience in highly sustainable buildings.
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