Portland Community College
Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc.
13,500 square feet
The Portland Community College (PCC) Newberg Center in Newberg, Oregon—just 24 miles southeast of Portland—functions as both a learning space and a small-scale sustainable experiment. The diminutive $7.2 million project cost was funded by public money from a $374 million bond measure because the school wanted to show that large, private institutions aren’t the only ones that can make a meaningful environmental impact.
Planned by Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc. and delivered on a design-bid-build schedule, the 13,500-square-foot Newberg Center was completed in August 2011. It’s the first structure of a larger master plan for its site, and it’s elaborately primed for LEED Platinum certification and net-zero status.
The modern-style building is simple in appearance and arrangement: the entry is situated on the south side and shaded by a large overhang, and beyond the main lobby are classrooms, an administrative suite, and various multipurpose rooms. However, built into this ordinary layout is a natural ventilation system and a set of special skylights and curtain wall patterns that negate reliance on artificial lighting during the day.
As a public project, the Newberg Center is firmly tied to Newberg’s local infrastructure and geology. The site’s irrigation system is connected to Newberg’s greywater reuse program, and planners worked closely with the city to ensure the site would be bus-, bike-, and pedestrian-friendly. As a final measure, the design team planted the surrounding landscape with shade trees and local fauna, maintaining the verdancy of the area as construction of the master plan continues. ABQ