Independence, OR, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 2, 2009 – As what is expected to be the world’s greenest building moves towards completion, fifteen 21st century “Oregon Trail pioneers” are being sought to become residents and standard bearers, whose energy usage habits will likely break records and set new consumption targets worldwide.
Independence Station in the pioneer town of Independence, OR, is on track to become the world’s greenest building under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, the developers report. About 40 percent complete so far, the 57,000-square-foot mixed-use structure will house offices, retail space, a restaurant, research facilities, a DC power-based data server room, classroom space and residential units.
Independence Station’s high potential rating – between 64 and 66 points out of a possible 69 – is owed primarily to its use of renewable energy sources, mostly the sun and vegetable oil, and the means of distributing, storing and managing that energy efficiently throughout the building. The building will boast a unique 120 kW installation of photovoltaic panels. During sunny months, the panels will produce more than enough energy to run the building, store surplus energy in a large battery bank for nighttime use as well as feed power back into the grid.
In cooler, cloudier months, the building will rely more on a biodiesel-fueled cogeneration and thermal storage system, including a retired tug-boat engine, which will serve as a backup and run on waste vegetable oil from local restaurants. Radiant floor heating and cooling, displacement ventilation, solar water heating, day lighting design, an ice-based cooling storage system, water based ground source heat pump, and extensive use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are some of the systems that minimize Independence Station’s “off the grid” energy consumption.
Smart metering will also be installed throughout the development.
Independence Station is expected to exceed the strict Oregon Energy Code by an outstanding 74 percent. In fact, Independence Station is expected to operate in a carbon negative manner. Because enough rainwater is stored in the winter to supply 100 percent of the building’s needs for laundry, toilet flushing and irrigation of the both the green roof and planned 40-foot interior vertical “urban garden,” water consumption records are expected to fall as well.
“We expect the location to become a common destination for professional organizations, school groups, trade groups and curious tourists, who can travel to Independence on a biodiesel powered bus service,” says Steven Ribeiro, founder of the developers, Aldeia, LLC.