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Old Posted Dec 10, 2009, 5:48 AM
scleeb scleeb is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Irvington/Grant Park - NE PDX
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Originally Posted by PacificNW View Post
Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 1:59pm PST
McCain blasts Portland's biggest stimulus project
Portland Business Journal

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A new report by two Republican senators takes aim at the proposed $133 million renovation of the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt federal building.

The report, by Sens. Don Coburn of Oklahoma and 2008 presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona questions the project’s entire scope.

“For $133 million, some may wonder why they did not simply tear it down and start over,” the senators wrote in a report released Wednesday.

The report named the project the second worst stimulus project funded by the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in February.

The worst of 100 projects listed by Coburn and McCain is a $5 million energy retrofit of a “mostly empty mall” in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The Wyatt/Green building earned the senators’ wrath for several reasons. A vegetative skin designed to lower heating and cooling costs isn’t yet proven to help insulate buildings. Plus a new federal building built in 2007, in San Francisco, featured the same energy efficiency features and cost $144 million. The buildings are both 18 stories while the San Francisco structure offers 100,000 square feet more in usable space, the senators noted.

Bids are expected to go out on the Wyatt/Green project this month.
I hate to admit it, but I think these Senators make a compelling point. From the day this project was announced I was wondering the same thing. The cost of new construction was at, or below, the proposed renovation cost. If the object it to go green, imagine the efficiencies and improvements that would be gained by starting from the ground up. I know the "greenest" building is the one that is already built, but this renovation seems like a missed opportunity to me.
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