The Casey Condominiums in the Pearl District have been certified by the US Green Building Council at the top 'platinum' level of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). That makes the Gerding Edlen-developed, GBD Architects designed building the first high-rise condominium residence in the country to reach this highest standard of green building.
This is Gerding and GBD's third LEED platinum project, following the Gerding Theater (the nation’s first platinum historic renovation and performing arts center), and Oregon Health Science University’s Center for Health & Healing (the nation’s first and largest LEED platinum medical office building). Gerding Edlen also has 38 LEED projects in its portfolio, more than any other developer in the country.
The Casey achieved all of the 55 LEED credits it applied for, exceeding the 52 required for platinum. The building incorporates reduced usage of fossil fuels; sustainable, regional, renewable and low-VOC materials; water-efficient fixtures and appliances; glazing to reduce glare and heat gain; an eco-roof for storm water management and to reduce the heat island effect; efficient mechanical equipment; a solar PV system to provide renewable energy to the building; and ERVs (Energy Recovery Ventilators) in each unit that recover exhausted (waste) heat and use it to preheat incoming fresh air. These features are expected to achieve a 52 percent energy savings over a code-compliant building.
The Casey is also one of three high-rises across the country participating in a pilot Energy Star for High Rise Multifamily Building rating system. Multifamily high-rise structures are a unique hybrid of residential and commercial, and currently have no clear methodology for establishing high performance under the Energy Star labeling program. The Energy Trust of Oregon, which is coordinating the pilot rating system on behalf of the EPA, is using the Casey to inform the development of this new standard.
The Portland Mercury's Matt Davis once called the sight of The Casey's colorful precast panels "puke curry". But it's got matchless green qualities, and it's also a wonderful precedent for Pearl condos to be built on a quarter-block. It's not necessarily my favorite visually, but I'd withhold any comments about Indian food or gastro-intestinal problems. Architecture also needs a lot more color. And I think The Casey still looks better than most Portland condos in large part because of this quarter-block scale, which proportionally seems favorable to most half-block or full-block behemoths out there.
Congrats to Gerding and GBD on another piece of platinum for their mantle.