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"'Living' building unveiled in N. Portland"

A North Portland community center is on its way to being the first certified "Living Building" in the state and one of only a handful in the world. At first glance the June Key Delta Community Center may look just like any other modern building. But the structure is actually just a few solar panels away from being totally self-sustaining.

"'Living' building unveiled in N. Portland"

The living building in N. Portland. Photo by KGW.com

By Keely Chalmers
KGW
>> click here to read original article

PORTLAND -  A North Portland community center is on its way to being the first certified "Living Building" in the state and one of only a handful in the world.

Only a few states have one and Oregon is about to be the next.

At first glance the June Key Delta Community Center may look just like any other modern building. But the structure is actually just a few solar panels away from being totally self-sustaining.

Once completed the center will use no energy and generate no waste.

It's also made of 100 percent non-toxic, local or recycled products. For example, the insulation is made of soy products. The floor is fabricated out of recycled automobile tires. A geothermal system heats and cools the structure. The pavement outside is permeable. Bioswales capture runoff. And motion sensing lights dramatically cut down on power use.

And talk about recycling and reusing - about a third of the building is constructed out of shipping cargo containers.

But if that's not green enough for you, consider this: just about a year ago the building was an abandoned gas station. It was both an eyesore and a hazard.

“The actual land was considered a brownfield which means it’s a toxic site,” said Chris Poole-Jones, project coordinator.

The Portland alumni chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority bought the dilapidated site years ago with a dream of making it an example of clean, green living for the community to share.

“What a great gift it is to our neighborhood and to the city,” said neighbor Brian Murtagh.

It’s a dream that's become a reality as well as an example of a truly "living building" for the state and the nation to follow.

The $900,000 transformation was funded by federal grants and donations.

It needs just one more donation, those solar panels, to get that "Living Building" certification.

 
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