Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building

This project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was a modernization of the 18 story Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, originally built in 1975. The building tenants relocated during the 30 month construction schedule. The project aligned with the High Efficiency Green Building requirements (Energy Independence and Security Act, EISA) as mandated by the ARRA. 

McKinstry’s design phase role included constructability reviews, value engineering, development of construction documents, project schedule, and construction cost development. During construction, we were involved in the complete change out of all HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection systems. As a High Performance Green Building, the project included the measurement and verification of all systems during occupancy to ensure all of the owner’s energy saving goals are met.

The owner needed a collaborative team to keep this complex project in line with an aggressive schedule and to stay on budget. One step they took was to co-locate the entire design and construction team into the existing building. Bringing the team together early and then bringing them all together under one roof helped speed up the design process. The architect team estimated that it would have taken 27 months to produce accurate pricing using a traditional contract process, instead of the 8 months available once the entire team was in place.

Early BIM and clash detection meant that the majority of potential issues were avoided before construction. These constructability reviews allowed the project team to present updated budget reviews to the owner during design and reduced the number of Requests for Information (RFIs) during construction, saving time and money.

McKinstry also exceeded the MWESB requirements by utilizing more than 39 different subcontractors and suppliers. McKinstry used 25.5% of the available subcontracting dollars to purchase or contract small business concerns, including minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses.

The building uses 60 percent to 65 percent less energy than comparable buildings. Mainly achieved through an innovative radiant heating and cooling system, regenerative elevators, daylighting and smart lighting systems, solar panels, and aggressive shading from aluminum fins. Rainwater capture and low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce potable water consumption by 68 percent. These features helped ensure the building’s certification as LEED® Platinum. EGWW is projected to be one of the lowest energy use buildings in the United States. 

In an article by the New York Times published January 30, 2010 and titled “In Portland, Growing Vertical,” James Cutler of Cutler Anderson, the lead architect on the project, said “It will be one of the more energy-efficient high-rises in America, possibly in the world.” It has garnered a great deal of attention nationally, winning several awards since the earliest of design stages, including:

  • 2010 Portland 2030 Challenge Design Award | “As Designed” category
  • 2012 AIA TAP/BIM Winner | Category B; Delivery Process Innovation
  • 2013 AIA TAP/BIM Winner | COAA Owners’ Choice Award: Renovation/Retrofit Award
  • 2013 Merit Award | AIA Northwest & Pacific Region
  • 2014 Better Bricks Commercial Real Estate Awards | Sustainable Project of the Year
  • 2014 IES IA Awards (Illuminating Engineering Society, Illumination Award) | Portland, OR Section Award for Energy & Environment
  • 2014 DJC Top Projects Award | Renovation category
  • 2014 Tall Building in America Award | Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat
  • 2014 GSA Design Excellence Award | Honor
  • 2014 AIA Cote Top Ten Awards

Government, Energy, Construction, Consulting, Oregon


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