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Salem's Transportation Building receives "Platinum" designation


Aug. 23, 2013

For more information: Shelley M. Snow, ODOT Public Affairs, (503) 986-3438 or cell, (503) 881-5362


SALEM – The Oregon Department of Transportation’s headquarters building in Salem has received the LEED “Platinum” rating – the highest level – for being an environmentally-responsible and sustainable facility. The building, located on the Capitol Mall, was built in 1951; few updates were made over the years, and in 2010, the building closed for a nearly two-year rehabilitation. The refurbished, historic facility re-opened in August 2012 – offering a healthier atmosphere for employees and visitors and a friendlier impact on the environment.
A plaque was recently placed at the building’s east courtyard entrance indicating the LEED Platinum rating. LEED, or leadership in energy and environmental design, is the industry framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Here are some of the key elements contributing to the building’s designation:
  • Sustainable Sites (9 of 14 possible credits)
    • Storm water planters in the east courtyard filter water runoff from the roof.
    • The facility provides shower facilities and inside/outside bike parking.


  • Energy and Atmosphere (13 of 17 possible credits). The building has:
    • An efficient radiant panel heating and cooling system.
    • Rooftop photovoltaic panels.
    • An efficient, sensor operated lighting system.
    • Newly insulated walls and roof.


  • Water Efficiency (4 of 5 possible credits)
    • Overall water use is targeted to be reduced by 56 percent compared to a typical office building.
    • Low-flow plumbing fixtures are located throughout the building.
    • Several rainwater collection tanks collect and recycle 100,000 gallons each year for toilet flushing.


  • Indoor Environmental Quality (13 of 15 possible credits)
    • The HVAC system delivers constant stream of 100 percent filtered, outdoor air. No air is recirculated in the building.
    • Low emitting (no volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, carpets and other finishes were used throughout the building.
    • The building provides access to views to 90 percent of regularly occupied spaces – giving people a connection to the outdoors.


  • Materials and Resources (10 of 13 possible credits)
    • Contractors used locally sourced materials, such as wood products: casework materials including plywood and fiberboard. Oregon white oak wall panels, door frames and doors
    • Other locally sourced products used include precast window sills and tables/benches in the east courtyard.
    • The building contains a large selection of materials with high quantities of recycled material – acoustic insulation in walls and above radiant panel ceilings, carpets, etc.
    • Contractors refurbished and re-installed existing historic bronze window casings.


  • Innovative Design (5 of 5 possible credits)
    • The building shows "exemplary water use reduction" - extra credit was awarded for exceeding 40 percent water use reduction (the T-Building is tracking to save 56 percent each year).
SERA Architects of Portland headed up the design of the remodeled Transportation Building. Hoffman Construction served as the general contractor. The budget for the remodel project, including leases and related expenses, was $69.4 million. The project came in around 19 percent under budget, at $56 million. Much of the reduction in expenses was due to the timing of the project: construction began just as the economy was slowing, making materials less expensive and creating competition for subcontracts that came in with lower bids than expected. It was also a favorable time to secure leases on both short-term and long-term facilities for employees.
Meanwhile, many construction workers were able to stay on the job because of the state investment in the Transportation Building. The project supported an estimated 525 family-wage jobs and kept several small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses busy during an otherwise slow time.
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