In October of 2009, Mercy Corps moved into their new world headquarters in the Old Town area of downtown Portland. Mercy Corps is a high profile international aid organization which, at the time, had over 3,800 employees in 35 countries. The new world headquarters consolidated almost 200 Portland employees working in six different buildings, to improve operational efficiencies and allow Mercy Corps to better achieve its global initiatives and social mission.

WPI’s scope on this project included renovation of the historic 42,000 square foot Skidmore Foundation Building, constructed in 1892, and 40,000 square feet of new construction on the adjoining property. Specifically, WPI was responsible for installing interior and exterior framing, exterior sheathing, cotton insulation, drywall, wall finishes, acoustical ceilings, fireproofing, and door frames.

WPI’s experience with green building products and construction practices was important on this project, as the plans called for a final result of achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification status or better from the United States Green Building Council. In an effort to achieve the desired LEED® certification, low emitting materials were installed as well as materials with high recycled content, such as cotton insulation. Locally harvested materials as well as energy efficient products were used throughout the building. In the end, the project exceeded expectations when the building was awarded LEED® Platinum certification. This is the highest environmental rating possible in the four-tiered certification system from the U.S. Green Building Council.

WPI employees are proud to have played an important role in completion of the Mercy Corps world headquarters. The final finished product is a gleaming new global headquarters where Mercy Corps can continue to coordinate aid efforts around the world for years to come.