Karl Miller Center Earns LEED Platinum Certification and Architecture Awards
Author: Melinda Crouchley
Posted: December 6, 2018
Outdoor view of the Karl Miller CenterThe Karl Miller Center (KMC) at Portland State University achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Home to The School of Business, the KMC was completed in fall 2017 and is comprised of a 100,000-square-foot renovation of a '70s-era structure, a 45,000-square-foot addition, and an atrium that links the two. The project's innovative and largely passive, low-tech climate concepts reduce the total site's energy use intensity (EUI) to less than half that of the original, pre-renovated structure.
Behnisch Architekten designed the building with SRG Partnership, and the entire project team includes Skanska, Transsolar, sustainability consultant GBS, Catena Engineers, PAE Engineers, Mayer/Reed, KPFF Portland, Listen Acoustics, NW Geotech, Inc, NW Testing, Inc., Luma Lighting Design, LittleFish Lighting, Inc., Reyes IT/Telecom, educational resources consultant Biddison Hier, and surveyor Dave Mills. 
"Achieving LEED Platinum for the KMC required our project team to earn every energy savings point available in the LEED system. Integrating the building heating system into our campus-wide chilled water system was critical to achieving this unusual milestone,” said PSU Capital Projects and Construction Senior Project Manager Mark Fuji. “We are thrilled the faculty and students throughout campus seek to attend classes in the KMC and it is a highlight for campus tours."
Since 2004, PSU has implemented a green building standard requiring all new construction and major renovations to meet the LEED certification through the USGBC. Certified on October 11, 2018, the KMC is the third PSU building to achieve LEED Platinum status; Lincoln Hall was the first after its 2011 renovation and The Robertson Life Sciences Building earned Platinum in 2014. 

Nods in November
On November 2, Mayer/Reed’s landscape architecture work at the KMC garnered an Honor Award in General Design from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Oregon Awards. The jury lauded its positive environmental and social impacts and integration with the architecture and urban realm.

Just three days later on November 5, the KMC received accolades from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle. The chapter honored Seattle- and Portland-based SRG Partnership and Behnisch Architekten with an Award of Merit.

KMC Eco-Friendly Features 

  • Passive cooling in the atrium and pavilion
  • Multiple water conservation features
  • Light fixtures with daylight and occupancy sensors
  • Use of low-VOC materials resulting in better indoor air quality
  • 80% reuse of existing walls, floor, and roof structure for the renovated original section
  • Five green roofs including two occupied terraces on levels four and five of the pavilion
  • Exterior walls are wrapped in regionally sourced and Forest Stewardship Council certified Alaskan yellow cedar

Learn more about the KMC and take a virtual tour.