The new Gladys McCoy Health Department Headquarters building is a 9 story building located in Portland’s Old Town neighborhood. Designed to serve the community as a resilient 80 year building, this building will provide the Multnomah County Health Department to service the most vulnerable individuals in the Multnomah County community. It now houses over 500 employees in its multiple floors of administrative offices, it’s three specialty clinics, it’s central laboratory, and it’s very own pharmacy. The first floor will also serve as the community command post for use during a public health emergency.

During construction, extensive exterior framing was designed to help support the brick and stucco apertures and break-shapes that connected outboard of the exterior walls. To build this series of asymmetrical break shapes at various locations, it required complex sub-framing to support the undulating shapes. Adding to the challenge; none of the break shapes from one location to the next were the same shape or size. This meant that unique shop drawings had to be composed for each individual shape. Attempting to build these shapes on site aboard exterior platform lifts would have been a logistical nightmare. This led the project team to decide that framing the shapes off-site was the only viable option to keep the project on track. To accomplish the task, the team field measured the window openings surrounded by the protruding shapes and then transferred a layout with the exact dimensions to a wall in the prefabrication facility, where the carpenters proceeded to build each shape in place. Once the shapes were constructed, they were shipped to the jobsite, loaded on the platform lifts, and placed one by one into its exact location on the exterior walls of the building.

Additionally, WPI designed and manufactured a total of 48 prefabricated exterior wall panels complete with framing, sheathing, and pre-sprayed weather barrier to be flown in and installed at the rooftop.