Indigo@Twelve | West, Portland, Oregon

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering to this downtown mixed-use commercial and residential building in Downtown Portland, Oregon.


  • Size: 552,000 square feet
  • Construction Cost: $138 million
  • Client/Owner: Gerding Edlen
  • Architect: ZGF Architects
  • Contractor: Hoffman Construction
  • Completion Date: 2009

As Portland’s downtown continues to see tremendous development with new builds and renovations, the West End neighborhood has long been seen as having major potential for growth. Indigo@Twelve | West was conceived as a flagship building that could not only unite the 30-block area with the rest of downtown and ignite development, but also serve as a beacon of sustainability and provide the framework for an environmentally friendly neighborhood.

Designed as a mixed-use commercial and residential space, the 23-story high-rise provides its tenants an environment that uses sustainable concepts to promote a high-quality living and working space. Rooftop wind turbines were incorporated to provide enough energy to fully power the building’s elevator system. The nearby Brewery Blocks EcoDistrict was tapped into to provide Indigo@Twelve | West with chilled water for its interior cooling system, which consists of passive chilled beams that more efficiently maintain thermal comfort levels. Rainwater recovery systems and a vegetative roof were installed to service office toilets, the fire protection system, and to help cool the facility in the summer months. Low-e glass that covers the entire building shell also helps control the interior climate by reflecting as much as 74 percent of heat from sunlight and allowing for a greater level of daylight—all of which contribute to energy savings. Solar thermal panels provide 24 percent of the building’s hot water, reducing the building’s natural gas consumption, which lowers both the economic cost to the owner and the ecological impact of gas emissions.

Tetra Tech’s energy modeling efforts helped Indigo@Twelve | West secure more than $300,000 in rebates from the Oregon Energy Trust. Floors 2-5, which house the Portland offices of ZGF Architects, earned LEED Platinum certification. The building was also named to the American Institute of Architects’ Top Ten Green Projects in 2010.

Images courtesy of Doug Scott and Matt Edlen