Oregon Metro needed a sustainable restroom building for the M. James Gleason Boat Ramp. This is one of several improvements made to the boat launch in an effort to increase access and modernize the location. Environmental sustainability was one of the primary considerations for the upgrades made to this boat launch, and Metro had several building requirements to meet. One of these requirements was using SIPs, or structurally insulated panels, for the roof and walls for increased energy efficiency. Metro also wanted the entire restroom to be fitted with energy efficient accessories and low-flow water fixtures. The power to operate the building needed to include options for sustainable use with solar energy and also a connection to Portland’s power grid. Finally, they wanted remote capabilities for locking and unlocking the building due to its remote location. For the boat launch, Metro used a barrier installed in the water to prevent trash and other debris from collecting at the boat launch and beach area. They also recycled the old parking lot surface into the mixture of the new surface. All of these upgrades needed to improve the boat launch and serve more people at the M. James Gleason Boat Ramp.
Romtec met all of Metro’s requirements with the design and supply of a multi-user restroom building. The restroom has four private bathrooms and a central mechanical room with extra storage space for supplies. To fulfill the Metro requirements for environmental sustainability, SIPs were used to construct the walls and provide high insulation (R-values) inside the building. These increased R-values and the use of energy efficient accessories greatly reduced the amount of power the building required. This also helped the building utilize its supplementary power supply from solar panels supplied by Romtec. Solar energy is used as the primary source of power for the building, and during night hours or when the sun is obscured, the building pulls power from the grid. The specified magnetic locks do not require manual operation and this building can be closed remotely or on a timer. The sustainable restroom building, debris barrier in the river, and the expanded parking lot together greatly increased the visitor experience through environmentally safe building practices and materials. These improvements have also been recognized with The States Organization for Boating Access’s (SOBA) “Outstanding Project Award” in the large access category.