Gerding Theater Wins International Development Award

May 11, 2007

Sustainable Theater Receives ULI Award for Excellence

The Gerding Theater
The Gerding Theater, Portland, Oregon

Bob and Diana Gerding Theater has been selected by the Urban Land Institute as a winner of the 2007 Award for Excellence: The Americas. The theater, developed by Gerding Edlen Development for Portland Center Stage, was chosen from among 23 finalists selected from 167 submissions from North and South America, and honored today at the ULI’s Spring Council Forum in Chicago.

Submissions were judged by a jury of renowned land use development and design experts on the basis of financial viability, the resourceful use of land, design, relevance to contemporary issues, and sensitivity to the community and environment. Each project’s contribution to a live-work-play environment and its role in complementing and enhancing the greater community was also a major consideration.

According to jurors: “The Gerding Theater’s transformation from the derelict Portland Armory into a Platinum LEED theater—the nation’s first for a performing arts center—both preserves its historic structure and enlivens the neighborhood with night-time activity.”

The Gerding Theater, the permanent home of the Portland Center Stage theater company, is both the first building on the National Register of Historic Places and the first in Portland to achieve Platinum LEED certification. Since its opening in October 2006, the theater’s alternatives to traditional heating, ventilation and air conditioning have reduced energy use by 77 percent and resulted in energy bills that are nearly 30 percent lower than buildings of comparable size and program.

Accessible by public transportation, the theater also features showers and changing areas for employees who commute by bicycle or foot. A park alongside the building offers outdoor seating and native vegetation. The site also features pervious pavers, increasing stormwater infiltration.

The Gerding Theater team includes Gerding Edlen, GBD Architects, the Portland Historic Rehabilitation Fund, Hoffman Construction Company, Interface, Green Building Services, KPFF, Murase Associates, and Landry & Bogan. In addition to the 2007 ULI Award for Excellence: The Americas, the Gerding Theater has earned numerous accolades since its completion, including: LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2006; the 2007 ARC Grand Award for Engineering Excellence; and honorable mention in the 2007 AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Award.

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