Hassalo on Eighth Demonstrates Residential Green Building in Inner Portland

Portland’s green building efforts have a bright, shining water conservation beacon with Hassalo on Eighth, a four-block, sustainable urban development in the Lloyd District. The project transformed a vast parking lot into a vibrant, eco-friendly residential development just minutes from downtown Portland.

As one of the first urban neighborhoods to treat and recycle its wastewater onsite, the LEED ND Platinum residential complex is an achievement in renewable, clean-energy development. It also offers access to mass transportation, and numerous other eco-friendly technologies and amenities. In 2017, Hassalo on Eighth won the LEED homes project of the year.

Property owner and developer American Assets Trust, Inc., (NYSE: AAT) used the project to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and placemaking by redefining the residential quality of life in a primarily commercial and institutional part of town. Located east of the Willamette River, Hassalo on Eighth consists of three residential towers with 657 apartments, 31,707 square feet of retail space, an anchor grocery with a green, healthy mission, office space and 1,200 parking slots.

The development also has spurred neighborhood rebranding from the Lloyd District to “Go Lloyd.” The goal is to change people’s perceptions of the district, said Owen Ronchelli, executive director of area business booster group Go Lloyd. He said while residents were “big advocates” of the area, they didn’t love the name, which perpetuated the idea that Lloyd is “a cold, drab business district.”

“For a long time that was true, but now there’s a lot more residents, a lot more street-level activity,” Ronchelli said.

A whole new level of water savings

The project has captured national attention as a demonstration project for water conservation, integrating multiple green roofs covering more than 38,000 square feet and the largest onsite urban wastewater treatment facility in North America. The city of Portland provided a significant refund on system development charges because of the innovative water management design elements.

Hassalo on Eighth replaced surface parking with a holistic, green infrastructure system consisting of an open-air cistern, vegetated roofs, and bioswales to manage and treat stormwater runoff. The 45,000 gallons of greywater and blackwater produced daily are treated onsite with a “NORM” system (Natural Organic Recycle Machine), composed of three parts: an anaerobic tank, above-grade tidal cells and ultraviolet light exposure. The resulting Level 4 Class A standard water will be reused for landscaping, cooling tower replenishment, and toilets, with excess water going to the aquifer through onsite dry wells. The process saves an estimated 7,000,000 gallons of fresh water per year.

“The planning and the residential component that Hassalo on Eighth brought to the area has helped diversify the existing commercial real estate, and is catalyzing other development that further stitches the Lloyd neighborhood into the urban fabric. We are very proud and humbled to have been a part of this world-class project with such a forward-thinking client.”

– Kyle Andersen, AIA, LEED AP, design principal at GBD Architects.

Hassalo’s privately operated small utility treats and reuses sewage onsite. This system is so cost-effective that the utility operator contracted to manage the development is expected to earn profits and still give residents and businesses a month of free utilities annually, charging the same rates as the city.

A partnership between AAT, its design team and the City of Portland achieved the project’s design goals. Other parties included GBD Architects, Glumac, Place Studio, Puttman Infrastructure, and BioHabitats.

The project team brought City of Portland agencies early to understand the vision for the project; city staff worked closely with the project team to meet city infrastructure requirements. Portland maintains its leadership in sustainability by advancing innovation, adopting new technologies and fostering demonstration projects.

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