Do we rebuild or use anew? A discussion and comparison of adaptive-reuse vs. new construction through case-studies
The urban adaptive reuse project I’ll be examining is the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center. The building was originally constructed in 1895 by J. McCraken Company as a warehouse and transfer station. In 1998, Ecotrust (a local rain forest conservation group) purchased the building and started renovations. The project was completed in 2001 and awarded the first LEED gold historic building in the nation. The building takes up an entire city block in the heart of Portland’s emerging River District. The second project I’ll be looking at is the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. Contrasting to the urban adaptive reuse, this project was a new construction in rural Rhinebeck, NY. The Omega Institute is the nation’s largest holistic learning center. In 2006, they set out to develop a highly sustainable waste-water filtration facility for their 195-acre campus. The building is not only awarded LEED platinum, but it was also the first building in the U.S. to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge. I’ve used the seven performance areas of the Living Building Challenge (Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity (Economics) and Beauty) as a starting point to analyze the impacts of each building. I’ve also added an Education/Social piece to my analysis.