Oregon Sustainability Center


Described as “the greenest large-scale building in the world,” the Oregon Sustainability Center is a $90 million project that could start construction as early as spring of 2010. I was surprised that I had never even heard about this gigantic project until I read this article, especially considering its location in downtown Portland. Its purpose is to become a “magnet for any business or government looking to meet its sustainability challenges while growing green jobs in Oregon.” Exactly what this means I’m not exactly sure, but it’s basically just a giant office building. It will strive to meet the certification of the Living Building Challenge, which means it must meet some difficult regulations such as the fact that it cannot use more energy than it can produce from renewable energy sources over the course of the year, and it must get nearly all of its water from rainfall. It would be quite an impressive feat if it did manage to reach all of these environmental goals, but I’m not convinced that this building is all that necessary. When I read that one regulation of a “Living Building” is to include “design features intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit and place,” I couldn’t help but imagine Derrick Jensen reading this and getting really pissed off. Though this building may be more energy efficient than other giant skyscrapers, it still will have some negative environmental impacts, and I wonder if it is the best way to spend $90 million of taxpayers’ money.

-Matt Zlarge_bild

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mitch Gaulke said,

    Yes I can see how you would think that it would be a waste of 90 million but we also need to start somewhere. If we did not build this, the rest of the world could no follow after our lead. We need to start paying the price now so the rest of the world will follow in our footsteps to become a greener world.

    Mitch Gaulke


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