Abandoned warehouse turned into LEED Gold boathouse, office complex

July 01, 2008 |

A former warehouse on Portland's Willamette River, which was redeveloped as RiverEast Center, has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The team of architects and engineers at Group Mackenzie transformed a 1951 concrete warehouse (right, top) into a boathouse for public use and a fully occupied office building for 250 creative professionals, seven businesses, and two nonprofits.

The $17 million project presented a number of challenges, including a dramatically sloped floor, traffic noise from two adjacent bridges, soil contamination from an old loading dock, and lack of space for the infrastructure. Though other firms initially didn't want to touch the project because of these issues, the Building Team managed to save an old building and do it responsibly.

The south side of the building is a solar wall (right, bottom) that uses a system of glass panels, baffles, and shelves to capture and divert solar heat throughout the seasons.

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