News

PSU Urban Center Building wins LEED certification
Author: John Kirkland, PSU Media and Public Relations
Posted: March 6, 2018

Nearly 20 years after it was built, PSU’s Urban Center Building has been certified by LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – under a program that recognizes efforts to reduce environmental impacts of existing buildings. 

The program, LEED O+M, assesses and rates the operation and maintenance of existing buildings on a wide range of criteria – from their energy and water use to the janitorial materials used to maintain them. The Urban Center Building, completed in 2000, earned a LEED O+M Silver certification. The Urban Center building joins nine current and two pending LEED certified buildings on campus.

“We are thrilled to receive this certification for the Urban Center Building” said Campus Sustainability Director, Jenny McNamara. “This designation highlights our efforts to create safe and efficient buildings, guided by our Climate Action Plan.

Portland State in 2004 established a policy that all new buildings and major renovations must be built to achieve a LEED certification. Since then, it made the policy more stringent, requiring that all new projects achieve at least a LEED Gold certification. Construction projects since 2004 achieving LEED certification include the Academic & Student Recreation Center, Engineering Building, Karl Miller Center and major renovations of Lincoln Hall, Shattuck Hall and the Science Research & Teaching Center (formerly Science II).

Last year, stakeholders across PSU’s Planning, Construction, and Real Estate group began looking at other buildings across campus to find ones that may qualify under the LEED O+M program. The Urban Center is the first to be awarded a certification. PSU also is pursuing certification for the Market Center Building, Joseph C. Blumel Residence Hall, and University Services Building, according to Amanda Wolf, program and assessment coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. 

“PSU has long been committed to achieving LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council for all new construction. Striving to improve our existing buildings through LEED O+M allows PSU to reduce the environmental, economic, and occupant health impacts over the lifetime of the building,” Wolf said.