Airport building pushes green limits

New headquarters to unite Port staff, expand PDX parking.



Could there

be anything less sustainable than an airport parking garage?


to a story by Pamplin Media Group , they encourage people to drive cars to catch

flights on airplanes - both of which emit significant amounts of greenhouse


So it may

seem odd that construction crews are erecting what may be the world's greenest

parking garage at Portland

International Airport.

It's part of the new headquarters for the Port of Portland,

which operates the airport.


building, scheduled to open in 2010, will include seven floors of public

parking topped by three floors of office space - all designed to meet LEED gold standards, the

second-highest sustainability level set by the U.S Green Building Council.

To meet

this goal, cutting-edge technologies are being installed in both parts of the

building - beginning with the ground underneath it. Before the foundations were

poured, 200 wells were dug 300 feet deep for geothermal heating and cooling.

Water will be continuously circulated through these wells, with the temperature

differences tapped to provide heat in the winter and cooler air in the summer.

Water will

circulate within the building through radiant heating and cooling panels in the

ceilings above employee workstations. Looking like small radiators behind

stainless steel screens, these allow the warm and cool air to be concentrated

where workers spend their time, not in hallways or other underused areas.

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