Although the finishing touches are still being placed on East Portland Community Center natatorium, or aquatic center, the expansion project is on target for beyond LEED Gold and possibly LEED Platinum territory.  Does this make it the world’s first LEED Platinum aquatic center?  Hard to say, we’ll just have to see, but certainly, this facility is indicative of a future where all buildings – whether parking garages, civic centers, libraries, museums, hangars, or skyscrapers – need to have a lighter impact on the environment, especially when mandated by the relevant state or local authority, as was the case here.  Here are a few green stats:


  • 60% more efficient than Oregon building code (sans solar)
  • Consumes ~30% less potable water than a comparable facility
  • Water savings estimated at 1.5 million gallons annually
  • Planned 87-kW PV system to generate ~15% of total annual energy use
  • Planned 6 panel solar thermal installation will heat shower water
  • 95% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill
  • Structural material doubles as finish material creating 25% savings compared to comparable new construction

The Oregonian recently ran a story on the $11 million facility, and they talked about the mechanical systems in further detail.  As you can see with the above rendering, EPCC has abundant natural light, as well as fresh air that’s changed eight times hourly.  Waste heat is recaptured and used to heat the water, and a light monitoring system adjusts the center’s need for artificial lighting.  EPCC was designed by SERA Architects.  

[+] Aquatics Center Saves Energy, Water with Green Tech by PBJ

Photo credits: Brent Wojahn (top); SERA Architects (Bottom).