Oregon Convention Center

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group’s commissioning team helped the Oregon Convention Center achieve LEED Platinum EBOM certification.


  • Size: 840,000 square feet
  • Construction Cost: $283,077
  • Owner: Portland Metro
  • Completion Date: 2013


Portland’s Oregon Convention Center (OCC) has worked toward a mandate to achieve new levels in sustainability since it opened in 1990. When it came time to recertify its LEED status in 2013, the OCC came to Tetra Tech’s commissioning team to help the facility move from LEED Silver to LEED Gold. With Tetra Tech’s help, the OCC was able to leap forward and achieve LEED Platinum, making it one of only three convention centers in the world to achieve that status.

Tetra Tech’s commissioning team discovered the OCC's boilers were running continuously, even during the summer months, causing not only energy waste but resulting in problems maintaining occupancy comfort levels. In addition, the chilled water pumps were operating unnecessarily high—as much as 90 percent—leading to excess energy usage. Tetra Tech realized major energy efficiency improvements by reducing the chilled water system differential pressure setpoint and modifying its staging control sequences. Heavy accumulation of dust and dirt in the VAV units had caused the terminals to fall out of calibration. This made it difficult for the OCC’s staff to maintain comfort levels. Tetra Tech’s team helped the OCC staff install filters designed to prevent build-up, and re-balance and restore the proper functionality of the VAV units.

The completion of this project resulted in dramatic drops in energy outputs and costs, particularly between June and September. Overall energy usage reduced by more than 20 percent. The Oregon Convention Center has also achieved major results in landfill diversion, diverting 69 percent of its waste materials since 2011.

Image courtesy of 3D Studio