GreenWorks featured in newly published Artful Rainwater Design

At GreenWorks, we strongly believe that sustainable designs can also be beautiful. This idea is wonderfully demonstrated in the recently published book Artful Rainwater Design: Creative Ways to Manage Stormwater by Stuart Echols and Eliza Pennypacker. According to the book’s description, “this beautifully illustrated, comprehensive guide explains how to design creative, yet practical, landscapes that treat on-site stormwater management as an opportunity to enhance site design.” GreenWorks’ Washougal Town Square is featured as a case study in this “must-have resource for landscape architects, urban designers, civil engineers, and architects who won't let stormwater regulations cramp their style, and who understand that for a design to truly be sustainable, people must appreciate and love it.” Other GreenWorks projects such as Headwaters at Tryon Creek and RiverEast Center are also included in the book.

Washougal Town Square- 5

GreenWorks Presents Portland EXPO Stormwater Wall to Oregon APWA

GreenWorks hosted a Water Resources Committee Meeting for the Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) on April 9th. For this event, Mike Faha and Shawn Kummer presented The Portland EXPO Stormwater Wall project that was designed by GreenWorks and constructed last fall 2014. Click on the link provided below for additional information about the project. /blog/2014/10/06/portland-expo-center-stormwater-green-wall-grand-opening


Awards Granted to Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building!

The Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building is a LEED certified project designed as a hands-on learning laboratory, where students interact with the site's resource systems. The building additions were completed in September 2010.

  • Last week the U.S. Green Building Council certified the Hood River Middle School additions as LEED Platinum, the highest possible LEED rating.
  • The project was also recently named one of the American Institute of Architects Top Ten Green Projects for 2012.

GreenWorks worked closely with school faculty and the design team to create a site that meets school needs while utilizing a small ecological footprint. Resource system information, such as onsite rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment and solar power generation, is tracked and fed to a central dashboard where students monitor the buildings' resource flows. In the native plant arboretum, each student is responsible for a plant that they care for, water, measure and observe throughout the seasons. The learning garden is an ever-changing canvas, which provides harvests enjoyed by students and the community. Students harvest and sell the produce at the local farmers market and learn permaculture principles in the multisensory, food forest where they grow and harvest plants for food, fiber, dye and other uses. GreenWorks' services included schematic design, construction documents, specifications, LEED documentation, bidding assistance and construction administration.

Read more about the project on the AIA website here.

Green Schools Trend Building Movement

Sustainability in educational facilities has been building movement in schools across the Pacific Northwest over the past decade.  Several design firms including GreenWorks have been working toward integrating sustainability in schools not only to set an example of high environmental standards but to serve as a teaching tool for students to learn the value of sustainable thinking.  A recent DJC article highlights this trend with several schools in Oregon and Washington, including Da Vinci Arts Middle School, for which GreenWorks designed  the site work for a modular 21st century classroom that serves as a study model for the school district. GreenWorks continues to work with Science teacher Jason Hieggeokein creating a tree sink project on site. The project will demonstrate the carbon sinking effects of trees in an artistic and inviting way. Inviting the students to explore nature further.

“Unless you can see it and touch it, you don’t understand how it works,” Weekes said. “Seventy percent of students are visual. Having these systems exposed shows there is more to a building than the rooms they happen to occupy. Then you can apply those lessons to math, science and physics in their curriculum.”

Science teacher Jason Hieggeoke uses Da Vinci Arts Middle School’s stormwater treatment garden as a learning tool for his science classes. (Photo by Dan Carter/DJC)

Science teacher Jason Hieggeoke uses Da Vinci Arts Middle School’s stormwater treatment garden as a learning tool for his science classes. (Photo by Dan Carter/DJC)

That is what science teacher Jason Hieggeoke has been doing at Da Vinci Arts Middle School. He has used a water garden, which drains storm water, as a living laboratory.

“There aren’t many special places for kids in schools, and this is one of them,” Hieggeoke said. “We do water quality testing and look for invertebrates. We care for the garden so they learn about conservation. Sometimes they will see the pipes and ask where they are coming from, which gives me the opportunity to explain the storm-water system to them.”

See the full article on the DJC website at:

GreenWorks has worked with a number of teachers and classrooms across Oregon to help incorporate learning landscapes into their schools. Projects include stormwater,  gardens,  native restoration, outdoor classrooms and natural play areas. If your school is heading in this direction and looking for a little design guidance we would love to hear from you.

Plants at Work: Greywater Wetlands

The last issue of Plants at Work, a supplement created by the regional group Sprout, and periodically attached to the Sustainable Industries Journal, provided some information on the up-and-coming issue related to greywater wetlands - in particular the potential use of these facilities to treat and make available, water for reuse in buildings.  The potential for greywater reuse to expand the ability to provide water conservation to sustainable landscapes is vital for our local climate, which is marked by long periods of drought in summer months.  Greywater, with minimal treatment, can be repurposed for use in irrigation of green roofs or other landscaping, as well as provide a beautiful site amenity.  The article 'Building Wetlands: Legalizing greywater reuse opens new markets for wetland plants', is written by Libby Tucker, who is also a frequent contributor to the DJC. greywaterwetlands_page_1

The article featured a number of GreenWorks projects.  There are no small scale examples of building wetlands for greywater at this time, but simple modifications can be made to other forms of constructed wetlands to provide this additional benefit.  Once the laws are changed, this will open up new potential for sustainable sites and water management - expanding the realm of design from sustainable to regenerative.   Projects include the Synopsis Headquarters in Hillsboro, 4800 Meadows in Lake Oswego, Rock Creek Greenway Wetlands, NRS Headquarters in Salem, and Tanner Springs Park in Portland. 

Downloads of the magazine are available here.  (definitely check out the article on Floating Wetlands as well... good stuff).


Also, be sure to check out the presentation at Sprout's upcoming conference 'Soak it Up: Phytotechnology Solutions for Water Challenges'.   GreenWorks Senior Associate Jason King, ASLA LEED AP, will present at the first day of the conference on the theme: "Connecting Landscape Function to Ecological Function Through Design." which will feature a range of GreenWorks and other related project work pushing the boundaries of  innovative stormwater management... truly putting plants to work every day.

Independence Station - LEED Platinum

The popular green building blog Jetson Green published an end-of-the-year post '33 Stunning LEED Platinum Projects', which featured a post on GreenWorks project - Independence Station.  The mixed-use project, located in downtown Independence, Oregon is on track to become the highest rated LEED building in the world, currently projecting a final tally of 64 points (based on current estimates).  Working with inspirational developer Steven Ribeiro, from Aldeia Development,  along with a team from Ankrom-Moisan Associated ArchitectsJohnson Controls, Balzhiser & Hubbard Engineers, and Green Building Services, to name a few - the project is maximizing site regeneration through net zero water use, rainwater harvesting,  restoration of open spaces, rooftop ecoroofs with photovoltaics, rooftop terraces, green walls, and a range of other sustainable features throughout.

Read more about the project at Worlds Greenest Building.


images via Jetson Green