Historic Kenton Firehouse
Sustainability and efficiency in an historic public building
Carbon Foot Print Reduction and Environmental Sustainability Initiative
Surrounded by Oregon’s largest heavy industrial zone and the Portland Airport, and bisected by I-5, North Portland feels the impact of air pollution.
North Portland Neighborhood Services (NPNS) has taken on a carbon foot print reduction and environmental sustainability demonstration project to make the Historic Kenton Firehouse a sustainable building. $100,000 was raised and invested to reroof with reflective roofing and to add solar panels — at one time, making it the largest solar system on any City owned building.
In 2011, NPNS again reduced its carbon footprint installing an energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. This $100,000 project was secured through grants and fundraising. Other carbon foot print reduction measures include an electric-use reduction plan including the installation of point-of-use water heating and LED lighting.
Beyond reduction of the carbon foot print, NPNS has raised funds to install two bioswales to capture 80% of all on-site storm water and run-off to improve the water quality of the Columbia Slough watershed. Also, funds were raised to install low-flow toilets and plant drought tolerant landscaping. A water conservation plan was also implemented to reduce water usage.
Retrofitting an early twentieth century building to meet twenty-first century environmental challenges demonstrates that even under difficult circumstances these challenges can be met.