Greenest of the green


The proposed Oregon Sustainability Center is set to be the world’s tallest “living building,” that would generate its own electricity, process its own water and leave no carbon footprint.

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The proposed Oregon Sustainability Center is set to be the world’s tallest “living building,” that would generate its own electricity, process its own water and leave no carbon footprint.

Supporters tout the project as an ambitious means to build on the state’s strengths in green building. Critics worry about the price of $68 million in public money.

The project is audacious. “We are attempting to create one of the most advanced buildings on the planet,” says Rob Bennett, director of the Portland Sustainability Institute.

Sheathed in ultra-efficient, triple-glazed glass and topped with a massive, sail-like array of solar panels, the seven- or eight-story Oregon Sustainability Center will resemble a terrestrial NASA space station, surrounded with gardens that will filter and process wastewater.

The building, which will occupy what is now a surface parking lot at Southwest 4th Avenue and Montgomery Street, will include many unusual features, such as a 200,000-gallon tank to capture every drop of rain that falls on the roof and a geothermal heating and cooling system that will tap into the earth’s free energy.

Read more at Willamette Week.

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