The project team faced a challenging site when developing a 67,000 sq-ft, two-story primary school located on the headwaters of Trillium Creek in West Linn, Ore. Ultimately, the design used the challenges as an asset. Orienting the building up against the forest aims to provide visual and physical connections between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Although the surrounding wetlands became increasingly challenging in the winter months, the team was able to keep the $15.6-million project on schedule.

The LEED-Gold-certified facility provides students with an interactive and sustainable learning space. Crews created building elements that enable pupils to learn about energy conservation.

The team developed light-pole measuring sticks that track the use of electricity, water and natural gas as well as energy production from wind and solar arrays on site. These poles provide teachers with visual tools that can be incorporated into their curricula.

In addition, with the school located along the creek headwaters, many environmentally sustainable features were constructed into the building. Among these are building automation systems that adjust lighting levels depending on outside conditions and that indicate when windows should be opened for additional ventilation. Surface water collection tanks are utilized to flush toilets and irrigate the landscaping.

The project team met the initial goal of obtaining LEED-Gold certification for school construction, providing the West Linn Wilsonville School District with its most green school within the district.

The interior spaces of the school are designed to encourage collaboration, utilize floor space for transitions and connect students throughout the building to the center of the school and the library.

The school can accommodate 300 students and has been designed for the possibility of a future expansion that could boost capacity to 500 students.


Trillium Creek Primary School, West Linn, Ore.

Key Players

Owner West Linn Wilsonville School District

Architect Dull Olson Weekes Architects

Program Manager Heery

General Contractor Howard S. Wright

Landscape Consultant Walker Macy

Civil Engineer Winzler & Kelly

Mechanical/Electrical PAE Consulting Engineers