Portlanders pride themselves on their cutting-edge green buildings. In the early 2000s, the U.S. Green Building Council rated several Portland buildings Platinum — the highest level certification in the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, or LEED. The city scored many “firsts” in the U.S. for Platinum ratings: the first condominium in the Henry in the Pearl; the first historic renovation in the Gerding Theater; and the first med-science facility in OHSU’s Center for Health and Healing, to name just a few. But there’s a much more stringent rating system known as the Living Building Challenge. It goes way beyond LEED by mandating buildings produce more power than they consume, harvest all their water needs from the rain, process all their waste water on site, and prove that all of the materials used are healthy, among other goals.
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