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Portland’s Block 216 Achieves LEED Gold

The high-rise building which houses The Ritz-Carlton, Portland, and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Portland, is awarded for its eco-friendly efforts

By Amanda Christensen

Block 216, a high-rise building in Portland, Oregon, houses both The Ritz-Carlton Portland, and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Portland. The Ritz is Portland’s first five-star hotel and stands at 35 stories tall featuring 251 guest rooms and stunning views of the city’s skyline. Most recently, the building in its entirety achieved LEED Gold certification at the end of March, a nod to its sustainability efforts that first began at its construction.

“This certification means we have created a space that fits into the requirements for a healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green building, which offers environmental, social, and governance benefits,” says Stephanie Lapsley, director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Portland. “The entire structure is sustainably conscious and inside, our operations are also environmentally friendly. Energy efficiency measures derived from the building’s envelope and mechanical system reduce energy usage by a modeled 13% from a typical baseline-code building. There is also energy-efficient LED lighting inside as well as low-flow, hot-water heater fixtures which reduce overall water usage.”

19th-floor infinity pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland. April 25, 2024
19th-floor infinity pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland || Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Portland

In addition to these green measures, 75% of waste generated during Block 216’s construction was recycled to avoid landfills. Low-emitting materials including paint, insulation, and composite wood and flooring were prioritized throughout the hotel as well. “One of the most notable design features of the building, which lends to the certification, is the eco-roof, featured on outdoor terraces on select floors,” describes Lapsley. “The eco-roof is planted with low-water-requirement native and adaptive plant species that capture and store rainwater within the roof’s soil. This innovative eco-roof reduces the urban heat island effect and provides Portland with more green space, allowing heat to escape instead of being held in hardscape.”

Attendees at The Ritz in Portland will find 16,000 square feet of meeting space, available for an array of events from intimate soirees to grand galas. Heading up a floating staircase from the lobby, guests will arrive at the dedicated events floor—aptly named Ascending Mount Hood, “an ode to the dramatic peak that inspired its design,” adds Lapsley. “Shades of blue, white, and gray are illuminated by ample natural light, creating the effect of rising above the clouds while crystalline lighting features are reminiscent of the storied hidden crystals under the legendary mountain.”

Seating at Bellpine restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland. April 25, 2024
Seating at Bellpine restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland || Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Portland

The 8,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Ballroom features hand-blown glass-faceted crystals that illuminate the space, and a custom carpet design that pictures a topographical view of the region’s rivers, valleys, and mountain peaks. It can be booked as one space or split into three separate rooms. Additional on-site spaces include the 2,200-square-foot Eliot Ballroom, as well as a boardroom and private dining rooms on the 20th floor.

For dining, attendees can try the hotel’s signature Bellpine restaurant also on the 20th floor, which serves Pacific Northwest fare with a focus on authentic, indigenous ingredients. Or, grab small plates and wine pairings at the casual Meadowrue restaurant, decorated with whimsical greenery hanging from above. For a bit of relaxation after a day of meetings, attendees can check out the 19th-floor infinity pool inspired by a serene mountain lake, or The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Portland, which offers a wide array of luxury treatments and wellness activities.

Meadowrue restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland. April 15, 2024
Meadowrue restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland || Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Portland

“With this LEED certification and additional property efforts to remain sustainable, our meetings and events will all be more environmentally friendly and conscientious,” says Lapsley. “The energy efficiency of the building ensures that all our events and meetings have less of a negative impact on the environment than those in buildings without these initiatives and built-in measures. Event planners and meeting executives will be able to hold their gatherings at The Ritz-Carlton, Portland, knowing they are taking a conscious step toward protecting the environment and supporting sustainable initiatives.”

ritzcarlton.com

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