• photo courtesy of Fortis Construction and Shane Kucera

Education Center, Oregon Zoo

Portland, OR

Business Type

Interpretive Center


20,000 square feet

Because the zoo gets so many visitors, this building is able to make a big potential impact by showing off it's sustainability. Windows into mechanical rooms let visitors see the rainwater harvesting system and screens on the wall show off exactly how much solar energy is gathered on any given day.



  • Pursuing Net-Zero Energy
  • Pursuing LEED Gold

Special features

  • Rooftop photovoltaic array
  • Rainwater reclamation provides water for flushing toilets
  • High performance building envelope reduces heating and cooling requirements
  • Operable windows provide passive cooling and natural ventilation
  • Demand-controlled heat recovery ventilation
  • Air-to-water heat pump efficiently generates heating and chilled water as needed
  • Radiant floor heating and cooling
  • Heat pump domestic water heating reduces energy usage
  • DI/RO water system provides excellent water purification for insect and turtle exhibits

Blog Coverage

The Oregon Zoo Education Center Showcases Net Zero Solutions That Inspire