April 11, 2008
The Burnside Rocket Building
The Burnside Rocket is a new mixed-use building located at the corner of East Burnside and NE 11th Avenue in Portland, Oregon. The site is a 3,800sf (350m^2) former vacant lot, adjacent to an indoor rock climbing gym. The building includes 16,500sf (1533m^2) of indoor area on four floors, plus outdoor terraces at each level. Construction was completed in April 2007, and the building is fully leased. The project team is projecting LEED Platinum certification.
An "edible roof" garden supplies fresh produce for top floor restaurant. Climb a ladder behind the kitchen of Leather Storrs' Rocket restaurant, and you step out of the roof hatch onto dirt. The view of downtown is great up here, but keep one eye on the ground to avoid crushing the peppers and tomatoes growing in raised beds & planters. During the past several weeks, master gardener Marc Boucher-Colbert has used several innovative techniques to help plants thrive in this hot, windy environment. Having a garden this close to the kitchen allows staff to pick ingredients at peak ripeness, and brings a whole new meaning to the idea of "Eating Local".
Window Shades as Art: Operable windows with artistic shutters allow sun control and natural ventilation for office tenants, and a head-turning display for passers by. Twenty sliding panels flank each window on the 2nd & 3rd floor office spaces. Four fixed panels are located on the ground floor. These panels provided a blank canvas for 24 emerging artists that live, work, or show art in Portland's Central Eastside Arts District. The installation was curated by Ruth Ann Brown, owner of the New American Art Union located nearby at 922 SE Ankeny St. The panels were installed last week, and will remain in place for five years before being auctioned to raise money for a new round of artwork.
Project team is projecting LEED Platinum Certification. After paperwork is reviewed by the US Green Building Council, the Burnside Rocket should join the ranks of LEED Platinum certified buildings. So far there are just two in Portland (The Armory & OHSU Center for Health & Healing) and just 40 nationwide. The Burnside Rocket is designed to use just 50% of the energy of a typical commercial building. An innovative Geo-Exchange system uses water from an on-site well to heat or cool air that is distributed through voids in the concrete floor slabs. Many of the features that won LEED points also make the building a great place to work: roof gardens, operable windows, excellent air quality, and daylit spaces.