Historic Kenton Firehouse

Sustainability  and efficiency in an historic public building

Carbon Foot Print Reduction and Environmental Sustainability Initiative

Grasses growing as a privacy hedge.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.Circular pathway at Historic Kenton Firehouse

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.