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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 24, 2011 5:33 PM. The previous post in this blog was For wayward Portland cops, justice is special. The next post in this blog is Winning ugly. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, October 24, 2011

City closes eyes, jumps into "sustainability center"

The utterly quixotic Oregon Sustainability Center project -- sure to line developer and architect pockets in the name of saving the planet -- takes another step forward at the Portland Development Commission this week. The PDC board is about to authorize a contract with the city finance office for the financing of the super-green building, which is somehow supposed to function as an economically viable office building without outside power, water, or sewer.

The current liars' budget for the 130,000-square-foot miracle complex? $62 million.

Uh huh.

The PDC board is expected to say yes, even though there are many, many risks staring them in the face. No private tenants are lined up; only government agencies have shown an interest in locating in the building. Necessary state funding for construction is far from a sure thing; the site apparently has environmental cleanup problems; and rents are going to be astronomical.

Perhaps most distressingly, the PDC staff admits that the building may not actually work as intended. Here's a fascinating passage from the latest report to the board:

The Center is designed to be the first high-rise Living Building constructed in a downtown setting. There is a risk the building will not meet the Living Building Challenge as achieving this designation relies both upon technology as well as changes in tenant behavior from those of a typical office space. The project team has incorporated energy and water usage contingencies into the project design; has tenant partners who are committed to conform to these requirements; and incorporated behavior expectations into draft lease agreements under negotiation. Although the Center is being designed as a net zero energy, potable water, and wastewater over the course of a year, the Center will have back up connections to customary utilities as required by code.

Ah, those "changes in tenant behavior" -- those ought to be fun to watch. But what the heck. It's "green" and it will make some builders and designers rich. Who cares what it costs? It's only tax money. Full steam ahead!

Comments (34)

Will they use lumber from small, local tree farmers or just FSC from big corporations and even out of state?
(yes, I'm a small, local tree farmer)

Maybe classes on sustainable sewing bees from Brady or metalsmith street cars from Hales? All money well spent on more PDC bonding.

Pretty funny that only government workers will have to make those "changes in tenant behavior", since only government agencies can be coerced to locate in the building. Seems fitting.

One can only imagine those "changes in tenant behavior"...

"People working in the Oregon Sustainability Center are only allowed to urinate twice a day in the building. The third and each subsequent urination in a day will be punished by a fine of $100.

People working in the Oregon Sustainability Center are only allowed to defecate once a week in the building. The second and each subsequent defecation in a week will be punished by a fine of $250.

Tenants will be issued with the key cards required to unlock the urinals and toilets, so that usage of the facilities can be monitored."

I just pray they don't get the Kool-Aid and wastewater mixed up.

If they do get the Koolaid and the waste water confused those fines are gonna add up!

Part of me wants to see this project go down just to see the stupified expressions of all the pols and planners when the building doesn't come together as intended. Just how do they plan to build an affordable (or safe!?) electrical grid throughout the building without using any PVC? That huge array of solar cells will generate a whole lotta of voltage on a hot sunny day, I'd be terrified of the building burning down from an electrical short if the PVC substitute doesn't insulate very well. At the very least it will keep some electricians fat and happy as the building suffers from chronic electric malfunctions.

I also have to wonder about the potential health hazards of letting the temperature climb up to 80 degrees in the summer time before any A/C kicks in (or whatever the green-equivalent of that is). Though people with high blood pressure or diabetes are probably not welcome among the green nazis, they can't legally prevent such people from working in this building. What happens if someone starts to feel a little faint from heat exhaustion? Oh right, they just plug the building into the backup utilities.

I guess besides that, the whole things sounds like a great idea with the best of intentions... what could possibly go wrong?

They won't get anything mixed up, they'll drink it ALL!

I get a bit weary by all this green this and that, perhaps because I spent time and efforts in really saving green before “green” was fashionable, in those years wanted environmental groups to assist, they were not forthcoming then and many are just as silent today. We have critical issues here in our city right now and where are all those folks who are so into “green” and “sustainability” or is it just the words that matter?

I wonder if the idiots who dream this stuff up actually believe it, or are they all just trying to punk us?

These press releases are so over the top they must be a self parody. Is anyone really stupid enough to think like this? Well okay, I have met people who were dumb enough to believe stuff like this, but I can't imagine that the people in charge are actually so dimwitted that they endorse this crazy crap.

I just hope newspapers are still around when this stupid decision comes home to roost.

How about PDC taking a large junk to show their buyin of the sustainability scam?

"The current liars' budget for the 130,000-square-foot miracle complex? $62 million."

Or about $500/sqft for a building without a lot of amenities (like HVAC). At 5% mortgage, that means about $30/sqft. Top level product in Portland leases for $40/sqft. You do the math, we'll be supporting this for years. Because they'll never get a grade A tenant, they'll need to give it away to non-profits.

Best proof so far PDC has waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much of our money.

Meanwhile, as schools and the Sellwood bridge collapse . . .

The Portland PR Spin Center.

If it were 2, 3 or 5 times as costly they would still be doing and saying the exact same things.

It just doesn't matter.

And since they know the building can repeately fail over many years and keep getting million to keep chasing the unicorn why not do it.

Not a single person will every face any concequences for anything while they'll get credit for the wonderful chase.

Ah, those "changes in tenant behavior"....

Reminds me of this classic.

. No private tenants are lined up

What about Skanska and Umpqua Bank?

WHY SHOUD POTENTIAL PRIVATE TENANTS WORRY ABOUT PRICE TAGS? To the contrary, private tenants are lined up for the dole.
One of the prime movers of the building is GE who's own Chris Allen(Regional Manager for GE Power and Water and formerly of CH2MHILL) is pocketing Portland taxpayer dollars via the EPA LT2 rule being
falsely forced onto our Bullrun pristine drinking water ($680 million to date for design and contractor costs). GE is still positioning to garner secret developer contracts via US Department
of Energy contracts through loan guarantees subsidized by fed
tax dollars to build new (faulty) nuke reactors in the US in South Texas.
A cool $54.5 Billion is in the works. (Please disregard %50 non completion -- phew -- of nuclear plant construction paid for by
fed tax dollars). And never mind those nasty tsuamis, floods
hurricanes and tornadoes happening steadily.

GE's latest mistake (oh so minor) in design and construction
in the nuke industry? Well, take a long look at Fukushima and you will find the GE newly improved safety device called a hardened vent. According to the Mainichi Daily News from Japan, these GE hardened vents in the containmnet system failed in Mark 1, 2 and 3 Reactor which DID NOT prevent meltdown and then also in Mark Reactor 4 caused a large explosion which will also be releasing massive radiation.

Oh well, that is just past minor mistakes of the renowned GE that Mayor Sam Adams will be prancing around town and touting sustainability.

This reminds me of the time about six months into our divorce when my ex-wife realized she could max out her credit card and I would have to pay it off. Then she continued to use her debit card for months after the funds were depleted...Good times, good times.

SamRand and the current PDC chair will be sipping cocktails on the fantail when the Sustainability Center chickens come home to roost. Too bad economic sustainability wasn't part of the equation.

Gee - this whole project sounds like the current PDC Headquarters - fomerly the Media Arts Center Building - that never could find enough (suckers) tennants to fill the dump. The major difference being this project is about 8-10 times more expensive.

Judging from who keeps funding the elections that keep this stuff being buit -- anything being built -- the occupants ought to include trade unions headquarters, personal offices of PGE board members, developers, Oregon Iron Works and all the other hangers-on who populate the election campaigns of pro-goofy building schemes and debt-based financing. Someone ought to be swallowing the bitter pill, and it might as well be them.

If Portland's main stream media didn't need PR handouts to stay alive, we might get some in depth reporting on this stuff.

"What about Skanska and Umpqua Bank?"

Tell me what rate they'll pay. Then I can tell you if they are private or taxpayer supported.

They're "talking to" Skanska. Talk is cheap. And Umpqua Bank has "committed to" putting a branch on the first floor. Doesn't sound like there's anything close to an actual lease.

There'll probably be a Subway sandwich shop, too. Woo hoo.

Will this be Portland's "Château de Versailles"?

Last month the Oregon legislative Ways and Means committee firmly rejected the sale of $39 million in bond funding for this project. Unless PDC has a back-up plan for finding some other source of funding, their endorsement tomorrow is not going to mean much.

How about a nice Dollar Store? Like the one in the Civic. That building has wind mills doesn't it?
Green, Sustainable, LEED, Iconic, Chinese, ...oops!

Actually, I like the thought of Skanska "behavior modifying" in that building. But Skanska is not going to sign up. It's not that stupid.

John Charles, so you have a link regarding that Ways and Means action?

Hey the ultimate sustainability is radioactive waste- it lasts forever.

Fill it up - it will probably glow green!

I think Skanska is building it. So there must be a deal there.

The Portland Center of Deals!

Still would like to know exactly what
the deal was when that GE rep. and Mayor Sam met and signed onto what?

If Skanska and Umpqua Bank are involved, here's the solution:

1. Umpqua Bank provides the funding.

2. Skanska builds it.

3. Both companies move in.

NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS REQUIRED. Both reap the savings from the "green" advantages; both can tout their "green" experience.

Isn't General Electric a major partner in the Oregon Sustainability Center? GE--the world's biggest polluter and tax dodger?

Can someone please write about this tragic partnership?

I am so glad I'll be retired before my office would move into this building. the 1900 building has a lot of problems with HVAC, and it was touted as new technology when it was built. And, as it is, most City bureaus are looking at cut packages for next year's budget of 4-8 per cent - and future years don't look any better. Guess that's one way to cut employee costs!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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