Green Mixed-use

The PAE Living Building Now Open

Portland, OR -The PAE Living Building has opened its doors in Portland. The five-story, 58,000sf mixed-use building, located in the city’s historic Old Town / Skidmore district, is the first developer-driven and largest commercial urban Living Building in the world.

Created in 2006, the Living Building Challenge (LBC) a stringent green building certification process that exists today. Project teams must meet seven key performance areas, known as Petals, that address every aspect of design, construction, and operations to achieve a resilient and self-sufficient building. The seven LBC Petals are place, water, energy, health & happiness, materials, equity, and beauty.

The PAE Living Building was privately developed and funded as a speculative office building through a partnership between Downtown Development Group, PAE, Edlen & Co., ZGF Architects, Walsh Construction Co., and Apex Real Estate Partners.

All of the PAE Living Building’s needs are met via onsite water capture and onsite and offsite solar arrays. The building uses rainwater capture, greywater treatment, nutrient recovery, and a 5-story vacuum flush composting system. By producing liquid fertilizer and agriculture-grade compost onsite, the circular system uses no city water.

Using just one-fifth as much energy as another buildings, photovoltaic (PV) panels produce 110% of the electricity needed via a PV-powered battery storage system with a two-way power connection to the city’s utility network and the electrical grid. It can operate off-grid at a reduced capacity: at low power in the summer months, and the building can operate for up to 100 days off-grid.

Over the next 12 months, the PAE Living Building will record, track, and report its performance data in accordance with the requirements outlined through each Imperative and Petal. It is expected to earn a full Living Building Challenge certification in the summer of 2023.