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Oregon Conservation Center

Show hide Project Info

Location

Portland, OR

Scale

15,000 sf

Program

Office, Conference/Event Space, Roof Garden Terrace

Completion

2019

LEED

Target LEED Gold

Awards

AIA Portland, Citation Award

Portland Business Journal, Transformer Award

This renovation and expansion of The Nature Conservancy’s Oregon headquarters transforms a dated office building into a collaborative hub that reflects the mission of this environmental nonprofit. Built in the 1970s, the original building’s prosaic exterior and landscaping did little to promote the visibility and identity of this global nonprofit. Inside, the dark, siloed office layouts and lack of sizable meeting or event space posed challenges for this collaborative organization.

To create an outward expression of The Nature Conservancy’s work in Oregon and to connect staff and visitors to nature, the design integrates materials and plantings specific to their priority projects around the state. New landscaping evokes three of the organization’s protected habitats: the Rowena Plateau, the Cascade-Siskiyou region, and western hemlock and cedar forests. The building exterior is completely reimagined with steel cladding that weathers over time, as well as Juniper siding and Cedar decking which were both sustainably harvested from The Nature Conservancy’s conservation sites.

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Original Building

The original office building did not convey The Nature Conservancy’s mission, promote the organization to the wider community, or support its collaborative culture and functional needs.

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Materials with Meaning

The renovation makes visible The Nature Conservancy’s vital work. The design evokes landscapes across the state through the inclusion of plantings and materials that have been sustainably sourced from the organization’s conservation sites or from regional manufacturers.

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The landscape design evokes three distinct natural habitats across the state.

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Material for the Juniper cladding and Cedar decks was sustainably-sourced from Nature Conservancy preserves in Oregon.

Central to the upgrade, is a new building addition which contains a community room and roof garden terrace. The addition provides a highly visible gathering space for public events and collaborations with partner organizations. In line with The Nature Conservancy’s commitment to innovative solutions, the addition is one of the first in the US built with domestically-fabricated Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Other elements of the gut renovation empower the organization’s collaborative culture and work such as new open plan layouts, meetings rooms of varying sizes, staff café/lounge, and dedicated storage space for equipment used in the field.

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The new conference and event space helps The Nature Conservancy engage partners and the community in new ways.

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The addition is one of the first buildings in the US made from domestically-fabricated Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

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All of the new timber used in the project is FSC-certified.

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The mass timber addition serves as a conference and events space, and is topped by a new roof garden terrace.

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The building's new addition is made from glulam columns and beams and CLT roof panels. 

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The crew waits for the next CLT panel to be hoisted into position.

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Eight panels of seven-ply CLT were used to create the addition's dramatic roof. 

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Overall, 14 CLT panels were used to construct the addition and another nine were used to build a new connecting stair in the original building.

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All of the new timber used in the project is FSC-certified.

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6/6

The mass timber addition serves as a conference and events space, and is topped by a new roof garden terrace.

Img 1114 1000 7x185x4932x3292 gray q85

1/6

The building's new addition is made from glulam columns and beams and CLT roof panels. 

Records  11a4667 1000 0x0x2250x1500 gray q85

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The crew waits for the next CLT panel to be hoisted into position.

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The design's new light-filled, open layout supports The Nature Conservancy's collaborative and non-hierarchical culture. Original wood ceilings were refinished and left exposed.

Sustainability is integral to the design and drove the decision to maintain and renovate the original building. To achieve the targeted LEED Gold certification, a blend of high-tech and common sense solutions was deployed. The building’s new rooftop photovoltaics produce 25 percent of its electrical supply, and efficient building systems and fixtures reduce electric consumption by 54 percent and water consumption by 44 percent. The new landscaping and subsurface infiltration system manage all stormwater on site. Practical strategies such as abundant daylighting, operable windows, and the use of local materials enhance comfort and connect occupants to the neighborhood and the greater region.

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Original Building

The original office building did not convey The Nature Conservancy’s mission, promote the organization to the wider community, or support its collaborative culture and functional needs.

The landscape design evokes three distinct natural habitats across the state.

Material for the Juniper cladding and Cedar decks was sustainably-sourced from Nature Conservancy preserves in Oregon.

The new conference and event space helps The Nature Conservancy engage partners and the community in new ways.

The addition is one of the first buildings in the US made from domestically-fabricated Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The design's new light-filled, open layout supports The Nature Conservancy's collaborative and non-hierarchical culture. Original wood ceilings were refinished and left exposed.