McKinstry models sustainable operations at its Portland HQ
By Gretchen Holzgang
McKinstry was recognized as a finalist in part for Oregon headquarters.
Editor's note: McKinstry was a finalist in the Sustainable Business Oregon Innovation Awards for operations. Read about other award winners here.
Sustainability is an ingrained part of McKinstry’s work. So when the Seattle-based construction and consulting firm decided to build a new Oregon headquarters in Portland, it was only natural to ensure the building reflected the company’s core values.
“Our emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability goes back decades when we started realizing the impact of the built environment on energy consumption and waste,” said Nancy Hamilton, McKinstry’s Oregon director of business development.
McKinstry’s Portland operation moved into its LEED gold headquarters in 2009.The company “walked the talk,” giving its headquarters the same attention to efficiency and conservation as it does for its clients.
The building features a rainwater harvesting system that has resulted in a 60 percent savings in portable water, and the landscaping and irrigation system has reduced water consumption by some 75 percent.
In addition, McKinstry preserved environmentally sensitive areas around the property, located adjacent to an extensive wetland reserve, and planted non-irrigated, native grasses and wildflowers.
Taking advantage of the headquarters' proximity to a city aquifer, McKinstry constructed a geothermal heating and cooling system in the building. The company also has a comprehensive recycling program, including scrap metal to help limit the amount of metal that goes to landfills.
But what stands out about McKinstry’s Portland headquarters isn’t the features built in, how the building is operated.
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