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From the beginning, The Armory was envisioned as much more than a new venue for live performance. Partners agreed that this new community destination should stand as a testament to and celebration of the values that have given Portland its distinctive character and national reputation. It’s no secret that sustainability ranks highly on the short list of core Portland values.

Here are just a handful of the many innovative technologies and integrated systems that have helped make The Armory the first building on the National Register of Historic Places and the first performing arts facility in the world to achieve the US Green Building Council’s highest certification level: LEED Platinum.

Energy Efficiency

Theater venues require comparatively massive amounts of energy to operate throughout the year and keep guests comfortable during performances. Largely due to the intricate integration of mechanical, electrical and information systems, The Armory is able to perform 30% more efficiently than code, even with these massive energy needs.

Water Conservation

On the outside of the building you’ll notice that our rain gutters don’t reach the street. Inside, on the Mezzanine level, you’ll see a white pipe marked “rain drain.” Pipes like these on all sides of the building deliver all the rainwater from our roof to a 10,000 gallon underground cistern. From there, the water is redirected to keep the building’s public toilets flushing with minimal use of fresh Bull Run flow. The performance season and Portland’s peak rainy season line up conveniently to make this redirected water available when it will be in highest demand.

Natural Ventilation

Theater spaces are notoriously difficult to ventilate and keep at a comfortable temperature. The Armory's U.S. Bank Main Stage features an air flow cavity under seating risers and distribution vents under every other seat. The result is a more comfortable theater experience that’s also quieter and more efficient than the industry standard. Upstairs, in the rehearsal and administrative environs, modular flooring is raised 9 inches from the level’s foundation, allowing under-floor air flow and workspace specific vents. Access to every square foot of this flooring allows for the stow-away of power and data cables and ease of their repair or redirection.

Lighting and Heat

Administrative and lobby spaces are lit by a battery of skylights throughout the daylight hours. Many of these skylights and several windows are manually operable to allow fresh air and building flush-out without the extensive use of machinery. Lobby spaces treat guests to radiant heat from hot water tubes embedded in the cement flooring.

In offices and rehearsal rooms, chilled beams are used for individualized comfort and greater efficiency. Not much larger than two standard shop lights, these chilled beams employ a small fan blowing air past tubes of regionally chilled water to cool individual workstations. Energy-efficient illumination is built into the same fixture.


Construction crews at The Armory worked tirelessly to maximize recycling of construction waste, diverting over 95% of it away from landfills. Wherever possible, contractors sought local and recycled building materials – 25% of all materials contain recycled content and 45% of materials were regionally manufactured.

Patrons will have the option to leave their playbills behind for re-use and PCS staff are adopting even more aggressive recycling habits than they’ve already become accustomed to. Educational programs will contribute to continuous improvement in resource efficiency at both individual and collective scales at The Armory.

Day to Day Operations

The pursuit of sustainability continues for all of us who do our work here every day. We’re saving “oopsie” prints from our laser printers and stapling them together as notepads. Our cleaning crews use only environmentally sensitive cleaning products. More staff than ever are commuting to work via carpool, public transportation or bicycle.

In truth, sustainability is more a process than an endpoint, and there are always additional steps to take and new discoveries to make on the path of sustainability. We you’ll be as inspired as we are to engage in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

Wild and Reckless: A New Concert Event with Blitzen Trapper
Mar 16 – Apr 30
Lauren Weedman Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Mar 17 – Apr 30
Mary’s Wedding
Apr 15 – May 28

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