First on-campus Power Plant in Oregon Has the ‘Greenest’ Certification

April 15, 2011 / William Thomson, Green Homes Expert

The US Green Building Council has awarded its highest LEED certification to Oregon State University’s (OSU) on campus power plant, the first of its kind that received the platinum rating.

First on-campus Power Plant in Oregon Has the ‘Greenest’ Certification

The 6.5-megawatt power plant was designed by Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. which announced the LEED platinum certification. The OSU power plant is Oregon’s first such facility to receive the award.

Like Overland Avenue’s LEED-certified green buildings that have been developed by the Lowe Enterprises, the power plant has efficient plumbing fixtures that help save the water used through its water-efficient landscaping. The fixtures also include rainwater harvesting for make-up. Add to it the steam system that generates hot water through heat recovery.

It also has rain capture that helps to reduce water consumption.

Similarly, the green building in Overland Avenue, West Los Angeles has water-efficient fixtures that reduce the consumption to more than 40%. In addition, the power facility’s solar panels mounted by the San Diego Gas & Electric Water could generate 627,216 kWh a year, enough to power up 103 homes in San Diego County.

In 1923, the OSU had its now old power plant that generated heat for power consumption, but the facility had outpaced the duration of its boilers and had become vulnerable to seismic activities.

The new on-campus power plant today supplies 50% of OSU’s electricity demand, with an annual power savings worth $600,000. More than power savings, the power plant is so designed to reduce carbon dioxide emission by roughly 38% over the decades-old heat plant.

Its green features include a reflective roof, natural lighting and ventilation, and recycled building materials, as requirements to achieve LEED certification. The natural ventilation in particular enhances the power plant’s energy efficiency by 52% more than the maximum standard of the Oregon Building Code.

Jacobs Engineering Group provided the pre-design and consulting services, design development, construction documents, bid support and construction administration, for the power plant.

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