Taking a ‘LEED’ in Commercial Development

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med_DSC_0061As the new master-planned community of NorthWest Crossing in Bend begins to take shape, it is apparent that there is a point of sustainable emphasis on the residential and commercial construction.

Now boasting 55 businesses and 360 homes that will eventually become 1,000 single-family and multi-family dwellings, developer West Bend Property Company has developed a green trademark strictly followed by its impressive list of architects, custom home builders and commercial developers.

The latest entry into sustainability is the community’s Town Center at the Mt. Washington-NW Crossing Drive Roundabout where Steele Associates Architects has a designed a pair of Silver standard LEED buildings.

“We are pursuing LEED Silver on the larger building and basic LEED certification on the smaller building, although it appears we may achieve Silver on the smaller building, too,” said design principal architect Scott Steele.

The smaller 2,940 square foot building has a strong emphasis on urban design techniques and anchors the corner. Its distinguishing glass medallions near the rooftop easily identify it. The building was created for a future restaurant tenant.

The second building, encompassing 12,960 square feet, will be the home of Riley’s Market and Umpqua Bank on the first floor and a series of nine office spaces ranging from 300 to 1,000 square feet on the second level.

HSW Builders stylishly constructed the two buildings that are completely different in design and material yet blend together very smoothly with the neighborhood that is rapidly taking shape on Bend’s west side.

“The whole look of the neighborhood around the roundabout is starting to take the look and shape of European styling with a mix of designs and materials that are giving NorthWest Crossing a very unique look,” said West Bend Property Company project manager David Ford.

Steele said that the two buildings were intentionally designed to have a completely different look and feel, yet meet the quality standards of the NorthWest Crossing neighborhood.

“I designed the building exteriors with the intent to create two unique, timeless and contextual buildings that add to the already strong ‘neo-urban’ pedestrian streetscape character of the NorthWest Crossing neighborhood commercial district,” he said.

“NorthWest Crossing wanted (and rightly so) the buildings to be distinctly different from one another just as buildings in older urban neighborhoods are. This variety creates the vital streetscape character they seek.”

The initial challenge for Steele Associates Architects was the narrow 3,500 square foot lot line as they attempted to create a pedestrian-friendly frontage with ample storefront windows at the restaurant site. They decided to design the mass in height with textured wood siding, stone veneer and a trellis system that enhanced the busy street corner.

The landmark design element of the building is the medallions created by neighboring Glass Symphony that act as jewelry for the building. They illuminate an amber glow at night while sparkling during daylight hours.

“My original elevation studies depicted accent medallions on the upper portions of the wall,” Steele said. “(Project manager) Jeff Wellman came up with the idea of creating backlit glass accents and then worked with Glass Symphony to develop the detail.”

The LEED-certified Eco-star roof, composed of recycled rubber that emulates a slate tile roof, is the first hint that this sustainable project has a very “green conscious” in design elements and building materials.

The renewable wood materials, parking lot with a mix of concrete and asphalt that serves to reduce harmful heat on the surrounding natural habitat and the six parking spaces dedicated to hybrid vehicles only continue the sustainable theme.

Next door, the two-story structural masonry building with mountain red, split-face jumbo brick that is accented with Sutter yellow brick serves as a backdrop for the center. The yellow brick glows at sunset as the exterior “light show” runs from sunset through the night with the medallions next door.

Riley’s Market, a neighborhood convenience store patterned after Devore’s Market on Newport Avenue, will occupy about 1,400 square on the first floor. Ford said the market owners have surveyed homeowners to learn just what to stock on the grocery shelves.

Umpqua Bank will follow up the lead of its award-winning Century Drive retail store with a 2,200 square foot branch that will include interactive displays.

The second level is home to a variety of small businesses ranging from a golf course development consultant to a mortgage broker to a technology programming company. The flex space is ideal for “mom and pop” businesses looking for a great location with mountain views off a common balcony.

The LEED qualities continue in the larger building with low off gassing carpet; 20 roof-top solar panels that allow the building to use one-third the normal electricity for a building of its size; operable windows on the second level for natural ventilation; skylights on the west and east wings for natural lighting and sun shading on the east portion of the building.

West Bend Property Company’s neo-traditional master plan for NorthWest Crossing and its emphasis on “green” residential and commercial construction will pay dividends over time.

“The increased initial cost is far outweighed by the long term energy savings the buildings will incur over many decades of use,” Steele said. “Generally speaking, every LEED/sustainable strategy you implement results in long term savings and efficiency, and that’s good business.

“When you also consider the fact that occupants of sustainable buildings feel better and are more productive, it is a ‘no-brainer’. Lastly we must acknowledge that designing sustainable buildings is the environmentally responsible thing to do and I credit NorthWest Crossing for their vision and leadership.”

Project manager Glenn Miller of HSW Builders also pointed out that the restrooms boast the latest sustainable technology in fixtures that include two-way flushing toilets for minimum water usage and motion-sensor facets.

“In the end, you have two very different-looking buildings that are attractive together because of some careful planning by everyone involved in this great project,” Miller said.

Steele thinks the buildings are timeless and offer a strong presence in the emerging NorthWest Crossing neighborhood.

“I really like the way they define and add ‘architectural flavor’ to the street,” he said. “They look like they they’ve been there a long time…like they belong there…just like NorthWest Crossing and Steele Associates intended.”

NW Crossing Town Center

Developer: West Bend Property Co.

Contractor: HSW Builders

Architect: Steele Associates Architects

Team Steele: Scott Steele Design Principal; Jeff Wellman Project Manager; Lisa Lambert Interior Design; Seth Anderson and Shawn Keenan.

Civil Engineer: W & H Pacific

Structural Engineer: Froelich Consulting Engineers

Landscape Designers: Drake Design

Square Footage: 15,900

Financing: Private

Subcontractors & Suppliers: Hap Taylor & Sons, Western Protective Coating, Langeliers, Botanical Developments, Bell Hardware, S.A.C. Enterprises, Mountain Tile Co., Rubenstein’s Contract Carpet, Aurora Painting Inc., ConSeal, North Country Building Specialties, Aloha Blinds and Designs, Tyssen Krupp Elevator, Bend Fire Protection, Barker Mechanical & Plumbing, Cascade Heating & Specialties, Tomco Electric, Farwest Steel, SI Contracting, Bobcat & Sun, Rasmussen Masonry, Central Oregon Industries, Miller Lumber, Dan Hunt & Associates, Cascade Interior Trim, Tri-Star Cabinets, McKenzie Waterproofing, Glass Symphony, Magellan Insulation, Eagle Roofing, McMurray and Sons Roofing and Bend Commercial Glass.

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