Oregon Convention CenterPORTLAND, OREGON
Services Provided:Commissioning, Consulting, LEED-EB: O&M Platinum
GBS enjoys a 13-year relationship with the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) that continues to grow and develop. In 2016 we began providing a new service for this nearly 1 million-square-foot facility – ongoing commissioning — as well as embarking on recertification efforts for maintaining its two exceptional green rating system certifications.
The remarkable sustainability story behind OCC is one of unwavering focus and steady progress over many years. Originally constructed in 1990, with a major expansion completed in 2003, OCC is the Pacific Northwest’s largest convention, meeting and events center. From the beginning, OCC’s management team demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability in its ongoing facility operations, internal staff training and outreach efforts with clients and the public. In 2004, after engaging consulting services from GBS, OCC became the first convention center in the United States to earn LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification. In 2008, OCC recertified at the Silver level, and in 2014 realized an even greater achievement by obtaining LEED-EB: O&M Platinum. Additionally, under GBS’ guidance, in 2014 OCC became the first convention center in the world to earn Level 4 ASTM/APEX Environmental Sustainable Event Standards for Meeting Venues. Today, GBS is actively engaged in the recertification process for both of these awards.
Ongoing commissioning (OCx) involves a process of technical checks and balances that helps ensure a building’s mechanical systems remain energy efficient over long periods of use, and continue performing at optimum levels. This is the same process used in existing building commissioning (or retrocommissioning); however, it is implemented continually, and allows maintenance staff to verify system performance and optimize operations across changing seasons, temperature fluctuations, and through all modes of operation.
GBS’ engineers will remain engaged in this effort until August 2020. In addition to writing and implementing an ongoing commissioning plan, GBS’ OCx team will evaluate OCC’s mechanical systems’ performance through functional testing and trend monitoring, as well as identify and correct operational errors and deficiencies. As energy analysts, we will provide continuous energy monitoring and optimization, and assist OCC’s staff in managing the facility’s Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program.
Although the building was previously retrocommissioned, and has undergone numerous energy studies over the years, HVAC systems can easily fall out of tune. During GBS’ initial ongoing commissioning cycle, a total of 42 operational improvements were identified and corrected. Also, as part of the OCx effort, a capital-level controls re-programming project was developed with ETO incentives and is currently being implemented. This effort will save an estimated $21,000 in energy costs annually.
In a separate project, OCC collaborated with GBS on developing a case study and higher education curriculum course on sustainability that is currently being used in colleges and universities across the country. OCC’s portion of the course focused on ongoing improvements the facility has implemented with regards to sustainability, waste diversion, energy and water efficiency, as well as education provided to both staff and visitors. OCC has partnered with GBS for over a decade, using the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) framework to realize their sustainability goals. They consistently lead by example, and serve as prominent role models for environmental stewardship to the community at large.