Thursday, May 5, 2011, 9:09am PDT | Modified: May 5, 2011, 9:36 AM
Oregon Sustainability Center team releases new designs
by Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon
Schematic design for the much-anticipated and oft-criticized Oregon Sustainability Center has been released by the design team, which is seeking public comment before the design is approved and financed by the City of Portland, the Portland Development Commission and the Oregon University System.
The OSC design team, led by Gerding Edlen and including SERA Architects, GBD Architects and Skanska Construction, anticipates going before the funding partners for final approval for the building, planned for the eastern edge of Portland State University, in August or September.
The new design of the eight-story structure also comes with a revised price tag, an estimated $59.3 million for the base building. That price doesn't include the cost of rerouting the streetcar line through the building — an estimated $4 million project — and the outfitting of the educational center and a public meeting space — an estimated cost of $1.3 million, $250,000 of which will be covered by a Meyer Memorial Trust grant. The full cost of the project is estimated at $64.6 million
Oregon Sustainability Center rendering: Aerial view
The previous cost estimate for the OSC, $69.4 million, included the streetcar and action center costs.
More than 80 percent of the OSC's available office, research and classroom space has been designed for specific tenants.
The center is aiming for a Living Building designation from the International Living Building Institute.
Jill Sherman, project manager for Gerding Edlen, said comments collected about the design, will be considered and incorporated during the design and development process before construction begins on the building.
"There's still quite a bit of design work to do before we're through," Sherman said.
If the project is approved, final design work would lead up to construction beginning during the first quarter of 2012 with an anticipated opening of the building in August 2013.
Oregon Sustainability Center schematic cross-section
The following items are on the project team's to-do list before seeking final approval:
• Garnering firm commitments from the tenants to fulfill the occupancy requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
• Working out the co-ownership agreements for the building. Both the OUS and the city will own their portions of the building.
• Ongoing fundraising for the project from corporate sponsors and other funding sources.
• Further refining of operating cost projections for the building.
Financing for the OSC will be shared by the city, PDC and OUS and will include tax-increment financing and bonds as well as budget funds. The project team also anticipates receiving new market tax credits, Energy Trust tax funds and in-kind donations from corporate partners.
Sherman said she's hopeful the project will see a green light by this fall.
"We have made significant progress," she said.
A public open house on the OSC schematic design will be held Wednesday, May 11 at AIA Portland, 403 N.W. 11th Ave., from 6-8 p.m.