Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Oregon

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group assisted the General Services Administration (GSA) with achieving energy savings for the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon.


  • Size: 500,000 square feet
  • Construction Cost: $136 million
  • Client/Owner: General Services Administration
  • Architect: SERA Architects
  • Contractor: Howard S. Wright Construction
  • Completion Date: 2013

The GSA and design team pursued an integrated design approach by targeting an energy savings of 30 percent over ASRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 per the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and a 55 percent reduction in fossil fuel energy over a Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) baseline.

Tetra Tech’s expanded commissioning and energy modeling service supported the team in achieving these goals. Additionally, our team performed peer reviews (mechanical design) for the GSA and helped convert the mechanical design implementation method from traditional delivery to design-build. At the onset of Tetra Tech’s commissioning effort, our team performed a fatal flaw analysis of the core and shell design, identifying risks the owner felt hadn’t been addressed previously. This prompted a comfort analysis which led to a redesign of Edith Green’s mechanical system at the building perimeter.

The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building reused nearly all the existing structural elements, significantly reducing the embodied carbon compared to a conventional building. In the first full year of operation, the building recorded a 39 percent energy cost reduction and a 45 percent energy use reduction compared to Standard 90.1-2007. In addition to the building performance, the design team credited the integrated design process with cutting reduction in requests for information (RFIs) by more than half (measured against comparable projects by the same architect) and cutting the paper used for architectural contract documents by 92 percent. Key features include:

  • All radiant heating and cooling systems
  • Large photovoltaic system
  • Custom facade for shading 50 percent of the sunlight on the building’s western face
  • A large stormwater reclaim system
  • Daylight penetration and energy-efficient electric lighting systems with advanced controls reduce lighting energy by 40 percent compared to Oregon code
  • Steel shading devices that minimize solar heat gain on south, west, and east elevations

Images courtesy of Nic Lehoux