Case Study

Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, Oregon

Fiscal Makeover: The revamp of a 1974 GSA building is a critical example of the government's commitment to green.

After a turbulent decade of delays and redesigns, the team behind the Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) Federal Building is more than ready for its opening, scheduled for May 1, 2013; so are the federal agencies that will be calling it home. Design architect James Cutler of Cutler Anderson Architects and executive architect SERA began designing the retrofit of the 1974 office building in 2003. The project was required to meet LEED Silver certification—an ambitious goal for the federal government at the time—and incorporated a living wall on the west facade. Just as final documentation was being prepared in 2006, the project was shelved because of funding issues.

When it was revived in 2009 with the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the original design did not meet the escalated federal high-performance building goals defined by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. "The double-wall facade didn't deliver enough energy savings," says Cutler, who worked with SERA on extensive shading analysis. The skin was restructured; only the living wall was retained from the initial scheme.

Published January 3, 2013

(2013, January 3). Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, Oregon. Retrieved from