Construction Zone: Going for gold

University of Oregon, Portland

This fall, The University of Oregon in Portland will move some of its classes to a 103,000-square-foot refurbished facility. The building merges parts of several buildings into a single complex, which marks a 57,000-square-foot increase from its previous location.

The facility features state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and studios; space for exhibits, lectures, and private and public events for up to 200; a new library and learning commons area; collaborative computing environments; and a new university bookstore and Duck Shop with a cafe. In addition, it can house administrative offices for as many as 100 employees.

In an effort to restore the building's turn-of-the-century appearance, crews replaced windows that had been bricked over for decades with environmentally friendly, energy-efficient models. A 10,000-gallon stormwater-retention tank controls runoff. On the inside, feats of engineering mastery make the most of natural light, replacing load-bearing walls with steel beams. Where shadows once abounded, light filters through open stairways, giving the interior a fresh, clean look in an energy-efficient manner.

The UO is targeted for LEED gold certification.

The architect is Fletcher Farr Ayotte (FFA) (Portland, Ore.). Venerable Properties (Portland) is the developer.

Start: May 2006

Completion: March 2008

Project area: 103,000 sq. ft.

Cost: $37,654,747

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