• Rendering courtesy of ZGF Architects.

PAE Living Building

Portland, OR

Business Type

Corporate headquarters and retail


58,000 square feet

The building embodies PAE's vision to help solve the planet’s energy and water challenges. Set to be the world’s first developer-driven Living Building, the 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 community.

Live Construction Camera

Hard Hat Video Tour



  • Pursuing Architecture 2030
  • Pursuing Net-Zero Water
  • Pursuing Living Building
  • Pursuing Net-Zero Energy

Progress Report

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

Walk score of 99 out of 100

19.5 EUI compared to 41.5 EUI typical energy use by a Portland office building built to code, which is 73% better than a typical existing building and 81% better than Architecture 2030 targets

105% of the energy use provided by onsite and offsite renewable energy

100% of building’s water needs are collected and treated onsite

70% of the building's perimeter spaces can be ventilated or cooled with operable windows

80% energy savings over a typical existing office building before solar harvesting

71,000 gallon cistern

Special features

  • Designed to last 500+ years
  • First developer-led commercial Living Building proves business case and creates pathway for others
  • Daylight, views, operable windows, and other biophilic strategies support occupant health, comfort, and productivity
  • Sustainable and healthy building materials include Pacific Northwest-sourced cross-laminated timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • First-of-its-kind multistory 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, same as hospitals and fire stations

Media Coverage

PAE Living Building Team Perseveres Through Pandemic and Unwelcome Outside Forces


Systems within a highly efficient structure


Problem elicits a ‘best-case solution’


Living Building may revitalize quiet corner of downtown


Potential living building coming to life


Going ‘Deep Green,’ Office Buildings Give Back to the Planet


Portland's PAE Living Office Building Designed For Hospital-Level Quake Performance


This will be the largest Living Building in the world


Work is underway on the world’s largest commercial Living Building in Portland


Project team blazing a trail


Creating the world's largest living building


Living building proposal moves forward


Proposal for living building in Old Town draws praise


Why Portland needs a Living Building


Blog Coverage

PAE Living Building breaks ground


Sustainable Building Week