Summer 2013 Forum    

Modernization at  its Finest:   Cutting Edge Energy Efficiency and Management in Major Renovations
Featuring a Tour of the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Building

May 10, 2013
Portland Energy Conservation, Inc, Portland

The 2013 Oregon APEM Summer Forum was held in the First and Main building with an excellent view of the remodeled Edith Green Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) building. See Project Overview Powerpoint.  Kate Turpin, PE, Integrated Design Specialist SERA Architects, kicked-off the presentations with a detailed overview of the project.  See Her Presentation Pt.1  Pt.2   Matthew Braun, Project Manager Howard S. Wright, and Patrick Brunner, Senior Contracting Officer U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), provided additional insight into the design and construction of the building.   Both presentations provide well rounded view of the project from multiple perspectives.  

The EGWW building was originally constructed in 1974.  It is an 18-story building with two levels of parking consisting of approximately 512,400 square feet.  The remodel was complex, involved multiple parties, and was restricted by multiple federal mandates including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA).   Both Acts mandated minimum efficiency thresholds, which the EGWW is on target to meet.  To meet the aggressive efficiency goals the design had to be approached from multiple angles.  

The design team determined early in the process that energy conservation measures had to be evaluated as a whole rather than piece meal.  An example of holistic thinking involved the shading devices on the exterior of the building and the radiant cooling system.  To make the radiant system successful the shading had to be designed to limit the external heat loads to a level the radiant system could handle.  Theradiant system was important to the design for several reasons.  In addition to reduced energy consumption it had several other benefits including: more rentable floor area due to less mechanical shaft space required, lower construction costs due to fewer penetrations through existing beams, and high ceilings allowing for more daylight penetration.  

The roof space would have allowed for a larger solar array; however due to downtown electrical grid constraints the array was limited to 180 kW. The 25,000 square foot canopy on the roof also collects rain water which is used for toilets, irrigation and the cooling tower.  An old rifle range below the building was converted into a 170,000 gallon cistern.  This allowed a 60% reduction of potable water use.
All tenants will attend a week long symposium to learn about the building and how it operates prior to occupying the building.  The symposium will address topics such as the increased temperature dead band so tenants will be able to dress appropriately.  
The forum wrapped up with a phenomenal tour of the exterior and interior of the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt building.  Many design features were highlighted during the tour including:

  • Efficient T5 lighting was used throughout the facility.  
  • The space where the crane was located was turned into a courtyard that brings light down into the lower levels of the building.  
  • The building did not need many seismic upgrades once the concrete façade was removed.  All the precast concrete panels were ground up and used for roads.  
  • The project was able to divert 79% of the demolition material from the landfill.  A lot of the materials were shipped to Africa.  
  • The whole building was designed with flexibility in mind.  The ceiling panels have 8 inch division between them to allow for walls to be added based on changing occupancy needs.


Kate Turpin, PE, Integrated Design Specialist SERA Architects Presentation 1

Kate Turpin, PE, Integrated Design Specialist SERA Architects Presentation 2

EGWW building