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Bud Clark Commons

By Holst Architecture | Portland, Ore.


Sustainability at Bud Clark Commons meant creating an enduring place of dignity for Portland’s most vulnerable citizens. The project set a new standard by combining permanent supportive housing and temporary shelter with a community resource center.

Located at the gateway to downtown Portland near the historic Union Station, the facility sits between the Pearl District, a mixed-use neighborhood, and Old Town/Chinatown, a district that has been eyed for redevelopment. It achieved a balance among the rigorous programmatic requirements of a city-wide coalition, a progressive design approach, and sustainable building practices.

The project’s mission was to provide a continuum of services to help transition individuals experiencing homelessness toward stable, permanent living arrangements. The architecture helped achieve this goal in both form and function. It features a 90-bed temporary shelter, walk-in day center with access to services and a public courtyard, and separate, secure entrance to 130 efficient, furnished studio apartments for those seeking permanent housing with support services.

The designers considered the users’ health and well-being in every decision, while keeping an eye toward efficiency.

“We wanted to have lots of fresh air in the building to address tuberculosis concerns, because it’s a vulnerable population,” said Dave Otte, senior associate at Holst Architecture. “With such high ventilation rates, we installed a heat recovery system to capture energy leaving the building and temper the fresh air entering. It became a win-win for the building and people.”

Efficiency was enhanced through the use of solar thermal heating and domestic hot water. There is also a gray water recycling system in the basement and loading dock.

Creating a space that didn’t feel institutional was essential. Access to daylight throughout the space helped achieve this goal. Simple entrances and ramps to each public program component allow for universal access.

“To make the building even more warm and welcoming, we added a lot of wood accents that bring a natural touch,” Otte said. “There are also pops of color throughout the space—this really vibrant green that is kind of a healing color.”

Representing a partnership across local, state, and federal levels, the project utilized U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stimulus dollars, low-income housing tax credits, and urban renewal funding from the city.

“It represents a huge investment from many different entities,” said Otte. “It was a very rich combination of sources and people that ensured this project was a success.”

Bud Clark Commons
By Holst Architecture | Portland, Ore.

Sustainability at Bud Clark Commons meant creating an enduring place of dignity for Portland’s most vulnerable citizens. The project set a new standard by combining permanent supportive housing and temporary shelter with a community resource center.

SUNY-ESF's Gateway Center
By Architerra | Syracuse, N.Y.

Sustainability is a moving target—continuously evolving, and demanding that we forget what we once knew and learn something new. And the Gateway Center acts as a prominent professor of sustainability.

Grand Rapids Downtown Market
By Hugh A. Boyd Architects and Progressive AE | Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is a bona-fide industry trailblazer. The LEED Gold project is one of the first urban markets in the country to receive certification and the first project in the country to receive USGBC’s Urban Agriculture credit (awarded to projects that improve human health and well-being, foster community involvement, and provide education on food production.)

IDEXX Laboratories' Synergy Center
By Lavallee Brensinger Architects | Westbrook, Maine

For IDEXX Laboratories, an international leader in pet healthcare, pursuing LEED certification for its $35 million Synergy Center was no walk in the park.

Stempel Complex
By Perkins+Will | Miami

With a need to bring together multiple academic and research programs for Florida International University's (FIU) Extreme Event Institute under one roof, Perkins+Will designed a technologically advanced building that is dedicated to hurricane-based research and academics: the Stempel Complex.

By Darling Associates | London

A landmark building inspired by both the past and future in London’s Soho neighbor- hood, Ampersand brings a sophisticated approach to design while integrating new features into its luxury residential units and high-spec offices.

America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia
By Sustainativity, Inc. | Savannah, Ga.

As a humanitarian and sustainability consultant who is passionate about green building, Tommy Linstroth was frustrated when he saw his philanthropic efforts go to waste.

Smith College's Bechtel Environmental Classroom
By Coldham & Hartman Architects | Whately, Mass.

What was once an astronomical observatory is now Smith College’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom at the Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station—a 2,500-square-foot, single-story, wood-framed building on a 233-acre forest and pasture property.

Argonne National Laboratory's Energy Sciences Building
By HDR Architecture | Lemont, Ill.

When designing a home for scientists who work toward some of the most significant findings of our time (advances in how the world consumes and conserves energy), there’s only one route to follow: that of transparency.

Back to Beyond LEED: Our Top 10 Projects for 2014 >>

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