Redside Development owns or manages over a dozen properties in the Portland Metropolitan area, and is interested in evaluating sustainable retrofit strategies for their entire portfolio. Their new developments are often green, including a number that are LEED certified and include a range of sustainable elements. Older projects, developed in the 1980s to the mid-90s, are more traditionally designed with ornamental plantings, significant areas of lawn, and inefficient irrigation leading to high maintenance costs. These sites also predate current landscape-specific stormwater management strategies, and are currently being charged significant on-site stormwater fees, which rise on an annual basis.
GreenWorks developed a set of tools to evaluate properties and determine the most cost-effective solution based on site opportunities and constraints. Various options were offered to the client. For an initial project, we focused on David Circle, a 9-acre commercial and light industrial development along the Columbia Slough in Northeast Portland that had significant areas of lawn, ornamental plantings, large paved parking lots and large roof areas. We developed a menu of twelve categories of retrofit strategies, including lawn removal, irrigation upgrades, stormwater retrofits, habitat improvements, and green branding. These strategies were then applied to the site, resulting in a range of improvements that were prioritized based on the combination of payback period, lowered maintenance, and visibility to aid in projecting a more sustainable image. The largest benefit came from removal of lawn replaced with native and adapted species, irrigation upgrades, and implementation of select stormwater retrofits using a variety of local incentive programs. This resulted in a significant annual savings that would have a payback period of less than 10 years.