NW Natural Newport
Mary Fierros Bower
FeaturesSeismic Category IV Resilience
NW Natural is the natural gas utility provider for western Oregon and southwest Washington. After evaluating many of their facilities, they brought on LRS to design buildings that would support their highly-technical and critical functions. LRS designed the Newport, Oregon control building to help NW Natural safely provide reliable service for the next 25 years.
The new building is a blast-resistant, purpose-built control room for operators to manage the plant. Located along the Oregon coast, the team had many internal and external considerations before designing the space. Marine-grade exterior finishes were selected for their low-maintenance performance in coastal regions.
Situated on a portion of the property where liquefaction is a concern, the new single-story building includes fully grouted CMU exterior walls and a 12” concrete lid. Ground improvements mitigate potential liquefaction induced displacement and floor to ceiling hurricane windows both provide daylighting and enhance blast resistance.
The design team worked closely with a third-party blast consultant to create the safest building possible for employees. The bunker-like structure protects occupants during control testing and blasts, and blast-resistant glass met the stringent criteria required of the project.
Though it is a building designed for function first, people still occupy the space. The design team prioritized employee wellness by creating a clean, supportive space for staff. Floors are composed of polished concrete and blast-resistant windows line the eastern exposure, bringing in natural light.