Using Green Building Practices to Restore a Historic Building

The people at Ecotrust and ShoreBank Pacific in Portland, Oregon have rescued a 19th-century warehouse by using green building practices to restore a historic building.
By Sarah Beth Cavanah
December 2001/January 2002
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The restoration included several green building practices.

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Businesses join together in Portland, Oregon to use green building practices to restore a historic building. 

"Energy efficiency" and "historic building" are terms that almost never find themselves in the same sentence. But the people at Ecotrust and ShoreBank Pacific recently opened a building that is the epitome of both by using green building practices to restore a historic building.

The new Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center in Portland, Oregon, is a rescued 19th-century warehouse that after extensive green remodeling will house the headquarters of Ecotrust, a nonprofit promoter of a conservation economy, and organizations such as ShoreBank Pacific, the nation's first environmental bank. Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, will also set up shop inside.

The restoration included several green building practices, such as:

• A 97 percent rate of recycling and reclamation of construction debris;
• A green roof of native plants and bioswales to absorb and filter storm water, protecting the nearby Willamette River;
• Prime outdoor and indoor parking for bicycles;
• Nontoxic and low-toxic paints and adhesives;
• An advanced ventilation system and windows that open.

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