North and Central America->United States->Oregon (OR)->Portland
Along the bank of the Willamette River in Portland, Miller/Hull (in association with SERA Architects) has thoughtfully meshed a pollution control laboratory with its site. Among many sustainable features, this image shows how the laboratory works without gutters, instead using long scuppers to send rainwater beyond the building and into a naturally landscaped, rock-lined stormwater treatment zone. This integration of building and site also provides the opportunity for public education, with on-site demonstrations and interpretive displays.
"At the site and at the building scale, rain is the great equalizer. It falls on roofs, decks and patios, parking lots, and roads. As it strikes these man-made elements, it is transformed into stormwater, which typically is whisked away through gutters, drains, catch basins, and an underground network of storm sewers. The pollutants carried by these systems ultimately degrade the quality of the beautiful waterways that are so plentiful in the Pacific Northwest. The need to mitigate stormwater's destructive potential has given rise to a number of environmental approaches, most aimed at retaining the water on-site for a period of time. On-site detention and retention strategies with the proper design emphasis express the poetry of water and maximize its innate beauty as a landscape form." (Miller, 2005. p.49)
Keywords: United States, Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland, sustainable design, sustainability, water, water retention, water treatment, on-site detention, on-site retention, biofiltration, contaminant control, filtration, filter, storm water, runoff. Submitted by Sabrina Sierawski, recipient of the 2006 Whitaker Traveling Fellowship.