University of Portland Named Champion of Sustainability

November 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (November 11, 2015) – McKinstry, a full-service, design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) firm that specializes in energy and facility services, announced that the University of Portland will be honored as a Champion of Sustainability during the Nov. 15 Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field. 

In partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, the annual Champions of Sustainability program recognizes one organization during each regular-season home game that exhibits a forward-looking approach to innovative energy and waste reduction in the built environment, which accounts for one-third of the world’s energy usage and more than 15 percent of carbon emissions.

“The University of Portland’s students, staff and faculty have long championed environmental stewardship, both on campus and off,” said Dean Allen, CEO of McKinstry. “We look forward to celebrating their achievements over the years with a well-deserved tribute this Sunday.”

Sustainability is a hallmark theme present in both the university’s classroom instruction and built environment. 

The 41,000-square-foot Swindells Hall, home to an array of biology and chemistry labs and facilities, is one such example. Its bathroom tiles and countertops are composed of recycled windshields and glass, its interior from recycled brick and the building’s carpet from a variety of recycled materials. Fly ash – an industrial byproduct of steel smelting – was repurposed in the building’s foundation.

Its boilers vent gas at 120 degrees, far lower than the typical 300-degree setting. Electronic sensors turn off lighting when areas aren’t occupied. And the building’s cooling system pulls in outside air to curb air-conditioning demands. 

The university’s largest academic building – Shiley Hall – is LEED Platinum certified, the highest rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. Its green features include a bio-swale and counters composed of 100-percent recycled compressed paper, among many others. 

Fields and Schoenfeldt Halls, the university’s newest student residence halls, are LEED Gold certified, and Clark Library, renovated in 2013, is LEED Silver certified.

McKinstry recently completed a $950,000 energy-improvement project at Shipstad Hall, Kenna Hall, Christie Hall and Waldschmidt Hall, in which all four buildings were disconnected from aging underground pipes leading to the university’s central steam heating plant. Instead, they draw heat from newly-installed boilers. Annual energy savings are estimated at $38,000. The project also reduces CO2 emissions by about 604,000 pounds annually, equivalent to removing 53 cars from the road or planting 75 acres of trees.  The Energy Trust of Oregon provided $104,024 in utility incentives directly to the University of Portland to offset some of the project costs.

In 2010, the University of Portland became the first West Coast campus to ban the sale of disposable plastic water bottles on campus. Students are also engaged in activities aimed at increasing environmental awareness, including the College Ecology Club, an organic gardening project named SLUG – students learn to create and manage a garden – and a host of other initiatives. 

Campus food service provider Bon Appétit Management Company partners with local farmers whenever possible, reducing the need for long-distance food transportation and thereby cutting greenhouse gas emissions. And the university’s biodiesel processor converts leftover vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. 

About the Champions of Sustainability program

McKinstry’s Champions of Sustainability program is part of the Defend Your Turf campaign. The campaign is a four-pronged approach to sustainable water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and community involvement within CenturyLink Field and Event Center as well as in terms of its impact on the city. For further information on the Defend Your Turf campaign, visit

Over the past decade, McKinstry has implemented a number of facility-wide energy conservation initiatives at CenturyLink Field and Event Center, including the installation of one of the largest solar arrays in the state of Washington, mechanical system upgrades, high-efficiency lighting and ultra-low-flow water fixtures. These upgrades make the stadium a national model for sustainable sporting facilities. McKinstry and the Seahawks developed the annual Champions of Sustainability program to celebrate clients who have committed to similar green standards in the built environment. 

About McKinstry

McKinstry is a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services. The firm’s innovative, integrated delivery methodology provides clients with a single point of accountability that drives waste and redundancy out of the design/build process. With over 1,600 professional staff and trades people throughout the United States and operations in more than 15 states, McKinstry advocates collaborative, sustainable solutions designed to ensure occupant comfort, improve systems efficiency, reduce facility operational costs, and optimize profitability “For The Life of Your Building.”  For more information, visit


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