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May 6, 2022


Photo courtesy of Zoey Koehler
The Oregon State Treasury building is a two-story resilient structure designed to withstand a 9.0 earthquake without any damage.

Oregon State Treasury resiliency building

Location: Salem

Contractor: Mid-Valley Construction

Architect: GBD Architects

Team: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters; CWallA; GTS Interior Supply; L&W Supply; Spears Construction Supply; Fry Reglet Corp.; Scafco Steel Stud Co.; Trim-Tex; USG Building Systems

The new Oregon State Treasury building is a two-story, 36,000-square-foot resilient structure designed to withstand a 9.0 earthquake without any damage. The state-of-the-art building houses administrators for the Oregon Department of Treasury, which oversees Oregon’s financial infrastructure and processes hundreds of billions of dollars annually for the state agencies.

One of the state’s top priorities is to protect the Treasury when disasters such as a Cascadia earthquake occurs, therefore the design by GBD Architects incorporated many resilient measures.

Constructed on a base isolation system (think massive rubber gaskets) and enclosed in a concrete moat that will allow the building to move horizontally up to 18 inches when the “Big One” hits, the Treasury building will be fully operational with a 96-hour emergency power system, well-water backup, auxiliary septic tanks, and super insulated R-50 walls to keep the building temperature regulated.

While one of the main focuses around the building was resiliency, GBD Architects did not shy away from elaborate, attention-grabbing interior finishes. The architect specified high-end finishes, including wood slat cloud ceilings, felt-wrapped acoustical panels, tongue-and-groove walls, a live moss wall spanning both floors, glass railings and concealed-spline cloud ceilings, which all are encapsulated in an “open-to-structure” concept to minimize damage during a seismic event.

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