PSU science building earns LEED Gold certification
Author: Jenny DuVander, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, PSU
Posted: December 8, 2011

PSU science building earns LEED Gold certification

Portland State University’s (PSU) renovated Science Research and Teaching Center (SRTC) has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Built as “Science Building 2” in 1971, a $46.5 million makeover has transformed the building into a greener, safer, modern facility that is now 50,000 square feet larger. The Science Research and Teaching Center, 1719 S.W. 10th Ave., Portland, Ore., serves as PSU’s hub for science education, and houses advanced research programs in sustainability, nanotechnology, bioscience, health and more.

“A great urban research university must have great science programs, which in turn must have great facilities,” said PSU President Wim Wiewel. “The renovation and expansion of our Science Research and Teaching Center reflects our strong commitment to science and research, to our students, faculty, and partners, and to developing our campus into a living laboratory for sustainability.”

The building is designed to reduce energy use by 20–30 percent by means of 175 low-flow laboratory exhaust hoods, efficient lighting and windows, and heat recovery—a potential cost savings of $300,000 annually.

Funding for the project, completed in fall 2011, came from state bonds, federal grants, economic stimulus, private foundations and many individual donors. New exhaust hoods were partially funded by a $1.26 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in 2010. A build-out of research and lab space for the Center for Life in Extreme Environments was funded by a $1.15 million National Science Foundation grant.

The Science Research and Teaching Center is PSU’s eighth LEED certified building on campus, joining the recently revitalized historic Lincoln Hall, PSU’s first LEED Platinum building. The project team included IDC Architects, Hoffman Construction, Brightworks Consulting, Insight Group, and Northwest Engineering Service, Inc.

Key renovation features:
•    50,000 square feet of space, previously occupied by non-University tenants, were reclaimed and added to available lab and classroom space.
•    Seismic upgrades, new mechanical and heating systems, and a new hazardous waste facility were added.
•    Building designed to reduce energy use 25–30 percent by means of new low-flow laboratory hoods, high performance windows, energy efficient lighting and occupancy sensors, among other features.
•    79 percent of construction waste was recycled, diverting 701 tons of materials from the landfill.
•    98 percent of the building’s structural walls, floors and ceilings and 73 percent of its interior walls, doors and casework were constructed from reused materials.

In the past decade, externally funded science research has increased by 600 percent at PSU while the number of science majors has tripled to more than 2,000. The expanded and remodeled Science Research and Teaching Center, as well as the Collaborative Life Sciences Building (a joint project with Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University) will help meet the growing amount of research, teaching, and partnerships in science at PSU.

More information:

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has nearly 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.

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News Release
For Immediate Release (#11-138)

Jenny DuVander, Institute for Sustainable Solutions, PSU

Mark Fujii, Capital Projects Manager, Facilities and Planning, PSU