East Portland Community Center Natatorium

Photo: SERA Architects

The $9.4 million East Portland Community Center Natatorium is the first ever LEED Platinum public swimming center. Accomplishing this feat required innovative sustainable building features including a water system saving 1,500,000 gallons per year using an automatic variable drive pump system, storm water runoff bioswales, indoor light meters adjusting when natural daylighting is provided, solar panels, an ultraviolet water treatment system reducing the amount of chlorine required and an HVAC heat recovery system, using recycled heat energy to warm the pool. The building is over 60% more efficient than required by Oregon State code. The building is still awaiting LEED Platinum certification.

Lewis was responsible for recycling nearly 100% of construction debris. This required thoughtful planning and organized systems for sorting, hauling and documenting debris. Because of the high standards for indoor air quality, Lewis mitigated the risk of contaminating the new ventilation systems by leaving them off until the building was complete. tegically placed window openings. The performance and placement of this ventilation system was extremely specific to allow pool andstructural coatings to dry properly.

In a soils report that was developed just prior to the start of construction, the footings of adjacent buildings were found to be closer to ground level than expected. This required Lewis to extend footings for the new building below the level of the pool excavation to avoid undercutting perimeter building walls. This posed a challenge for the team as the added depth increased inward pressure on the exterior walls. Instead of compensating by bracing the walls from inside the building, Lewis used a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) backfill system underneath the footings.

Due to concerns about the building’s high humidity and the corrosive danger of the pools chlorine, the steel roofing joists required an ultra high performance coating system.

Key Players

Owner: City of Portland
Architect: SERA Architects, Portland
General Contractor: Lease Crutcher Lewis, Portland
Subcontractors: EC Co., Portland, Electrical; Oregon Cascade Plumbing and Heating,Inc., Salem Plumbing; PCI, Tigard, Framing