• Rendering courtesy of ZGF.

PAE Living Building

Portland, OR

Business Type

Corporate Headquarters + Retail


58,700 square feet

The building will embody PAE’s corporate mission to help solve the planet’s energy and water challenges. Set to be the world’s first developer-driven Living Building, this five-story, mixed-use building will demonstrate replicable and cost-effective solutions for sustainable design removing barriers to entry for highly sustainable projects while revitalizing the surrounding community.

Pursuing Living Building

Pursuing Net-Zero Water

Pursuing Net-Zero Energy



  • Pursuing Net-Zero Water
  • Pursuing Living Building
  • Pursuing Net-Zero Energy

Progress Report

19 EUI (50 EUI is typical energy use by a Portland office / retail building)

Set to achieve the city's 2050 renewable energy targets 30 years ahead of schedule

Special features

  • 100% of the building's water demand is collected and treated onsite
  • Daylight, views, operable windows, and other biophilic strategies support occupant health, comfort, and productivity
  • Sustainable building materials include Pacific Northwest-sourced cross-laminated timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • First-of-its-kind multi-story vacuum-flush compostable toilets reduce water use and transform waste into a rich nutrient source
  • Through onsite and dedicated offsite solar, the project is a net energy producer
  • Cost-neutral seismic upgrades allow structure to be designed to withstand category IV level earthquake, same as hospitals and fire stations
  • As the first developer-led commercial Living Building, this facility proves the business case and creates pathways for others

Media Coverage

Creating the world's largest living building


Why Portland needs a Living Building


Proposal for living building in Old Town draws praise


Living building proposal moves forward