The Newberg Center is the latest addition to Portland Community College's network in Oregon and is the first net-zero higher education building in the state. Designed by Portland-based Hennebery Eddy Architects, the energy-efficient facility provides classroom, office and common space for the new campus in the Willamette Valley. Featuring an impressive 109 kW rooftop solar system, the Newberg Center also makes use of passive solar design, a highly-efficient envelope, energy-efficient systems, and it educates the users on sustainability and conservation.
Portland Community College opened a new campus in Newberg, a small town in the Willamette Valley, to meet the educational needs of the community. Hennebery Eddy Architects designed the master plan for the new campus as well as the first building, the Newberg Center. Designed to meet the new sustainability goals of PCC, this new facility is serving as the testing grounds for new technologies, sustainable strategies and energy-efficient design. The LEED Platinum-designed center includes a computer lab, an administration suite, service core, an open commons, and four general purpose classrooms—two of which can be combined into one multi-purpose room. It is also the first higher education building in Oregon to achieve net zero status.
The Newberg Center is oriented on an east-west axis with classrooms located on the north side of the building to get diffuse natural daylight, while the commons is located on the south side. The roof extends to the south to create a large shaded plaza and protects the interior from overheating. A large 109 kW solar system is mounted on the roof and provides all the energy necessary for the building. A tight, efficient envelope made from SIPs minimizes energy loses and thermal mass with hydronic heating/cooling helps maintain interior temperatures. Then a series of ventilation stacks and Big Ass Fans move hot air up and out of the building. Building materials were chosen for their sustainability, water fixtures are low flow and the exterior is landscaped with with regionally appropriate plants that help provide shade and reduce heat island effect.
The Newberg Center is the recipient of a number of awards since its completion in August 2011, which recently includes the AIA Committe on the Environment Top Ten Green Projects, 2012 award.
Images ©Stephen Miller and Hennebery Eddy Architects