The new stormwater green wall recently installed at Portland’s Expo Center is the first of its kind in the United States to integrate sustainability, art, and science for managing stormwater runoff.
The Portland EXPO Center Stormwater Green Wall, designed by a team led by GreenWorks, PC, is an innovative and unique project that represents the next step in creative stormwater management solutions, by taking roof-runoff and routing it through a series of vegetated planters mounted to a vertical wall structure. The Expo Center Stormwater Green Wall isn’t a traditional bioswale or garden. Instead, it effectively uses the available vertical square footage of the existing building to provide stormwater filtration for the 9,400 square foot roof.
Standing 30-feet tall and 60-feet long, the free-standing, artistic structure is made of steel and aluminum and is adorned with soil and vegetation native to Oregon, particularly the Columbia River Gorge. Because of the stormwater wall’s prominent location, it was important that the design fit within the context of the existing site and complement the existing postmodern style of architecture. This was accomplished by giving particular attention to forms and materials that were used. The form of the stormwater channels relate to forms evident on the existing building and the hexagons provide a decorative element that ties in subtly to the EXPO’s logo and branding effort. This project was constructed in 2014.