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Portland's Big, Beautiful Vertical Garden

Portland is already proud of its copious parks and open green spaces, and now it's moving the vegetation into the city in a big way, according to...


Portland is already proud of its copious parks and open green spaces, and now it's moving the vegetation into the city in a big way, according to a piece in The New York Times. Working under the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, a $133 million renovation of the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal building downtown will include the addition of "vegetated fins" growing up the outer walls. An extension of similar vertical gardening ventures (the PNC Bank logo in Pittsburgh comes to mind), the goal for the renovation is to use the plants to make the building more energy efficient all year round-the fact that the design looks pretty damn cool is just a bonus.While designers are still working out the details, the fins are expected to grow to roughly 200 feet and allow the building to use up to 60 percent less energy, saving an estimated $280,000 annual energy costs. There are those who say the project is too costly-some even calling it one of "the 100 worst stimulus-financed projects." The G.S.A insists that they energy efficiency will-assuming the designs function as planned-save money in the future. Early renderings of the building certainly look promising, but with the project's estimated completion date being in 2013, it looks as though we'll all just have to wait and see.Photo by Scott Baumberger via SERA Architects.
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