UO buildings LEED the way

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One of the University of Oregon’s two ongoing signature building projects will host legions of sports fans who will loudly support their favorite college hoops team while wearing green and gold ensembles.

The other building will welcome graduates returning to their Eugene stomping grounds.

While the Matthew Knight Arena and the Ford Alumni Center seem different, they do share design schemes predicated on sustainability. The 400,000-square-foot arena, for the school’s basketball teams, could earn LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It would become of one few arenas in the nation to receive the distinction. LEED refers to Leadership in Energy and Design.

Along the same lines, the 60,000-square-foot Ford Center will likely set new standards in energy efficiency. The center will provide the headquarters for the UO’s Alumni Association, Foundation and other university relations operations. It’s expected to hold 600 recruiting and information sessions that will host 17,000 guests yearly.

Because the two structures share an east campus boundary at roughly 13th Street and Franklin Boulevard, the $200 million arena and $32.5 million alumni center will provide a new UO gateway for students and visitors.

"These two buildings will provide a new front door, a green front door, into the campus," said Bob Thompson, design principal for Portland-based TVA Architects, the architect for both projects.

The alumni center and the arena are set to open in January. While the buildings’ envelopes are complete, workers are completing landscaping chores.

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