Portland Community College, Newberg Center

Newberg, Oregon

The 13,800-square-foot Newberg Center is the first building completed on a 15-acre site purchased by Portland Community College as part of a bond program to develop new classroom space. 

Designed to be the first net-zero-energy higher-education building in Oregon, the Newberg Center required an innovative sustainable design strategy. The architect focused ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$340.00CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2013 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas four approaches to minimize energy use: creating a highly efficient envelope; maximizing passive strategies; using efficient systems; and teaching students and faculty energy-saving behavioral changes.

Achieved on a tight public budget with a LEED platinum goal, the Newberg Center showcases cost-effective, bioclimatic green strategies to create a highly sustainable education facility. A state-of-the-art passive design eliminated mechanical cooling from all areas (except the server closet), and nearly all mechanical duct-work. The strategy includes a 100kW rooftop photovoltaic array, daylighting, thermal mass floors, a super-insulated envelope and natural ventilation. 

Large-diameter ceiling fans circulate air to provide significant cooling at a fraction of air-conditioning costs, and also push warm air down to occupants in the winter.

“Beautifully simple, yet elegant. Great daylighting and environmental design.”--2013 jury