Building 45% More Energy Efficient than if Built to Code

October 3, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

The $295 million Collaborative Life Sciences Building located on Oregon Health & Science University’s Schnitzer Campus in Portland was built from the ground up with energy efficiency as a priority.

The building is a joint project of OHSU, Portland State University and Oregon State University. Energy Trust of Oregon provided nearly $500,000 in financial incentives for energy-efficient design strategies and systems.

The completed building is estimated to be 45 percent more energy efficient than if built to code. The building is predicted to save about two million kWh and 84,000 therms of natural gas each year, which the project team estimates will save roughly $350,000 in annual energy costs.

The 650,000-sq-foot building, served by Portland General Electric and NW Natural, is LEED Platinum certified.

The design team engaged with Energy Trust’s New Buildings program from the start to take advantage of early design assistance, as well as energy modeling and installation incentives.

Energy-saving features include:

  • High-performance lighting, daylighting and controls.
  • Mechanical systems focus on improved indoor air quality and energy efficiency.
  • Low-ventilation fume hoods reduce energy use in the lab areas by automatically reducing fan speeds when fume hoods are closed.
  • An improved building envelope prevents energy waste further through a combination of increased insulation, high-performance windows, a whole-building air barrier and exterior shading strategies.

Even the elevators are energy efficient, consuming energy as the cars move upward and generating energy as the cars return to the ground level.

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