Sunrise Water Authority Administrative & Field Operations Facility

Happy Valley, Oregon

How do we celebrate the important work a utility agency provides?

Sunrise Water Authority Administrative & Field Operations Facility. Exterior rendering of a two-story, glass-walled administrative building on a grassy site with small trees. Blue skies and white clouds above.

Sunrise Water Authority (SWA) selected FFA to design and develop a facility on a new site in Happy Valley as a replacement for the campus they have outgrown.  The new campus will centralize their administrative and field functions and will include Administration and Shop buildings, staff courtyard, parking areas, materials storage, and a fuel island. Through a series of visioning, sustainability, and programming discussions with multiple SWA stakeholders, their dedication to the mission of providing safe and reliable water to their customers became clear and inspired the primary design driver of the project – the expression of water.

Year Completed:
2023 (est.)
Campus: ~ 5-acres
Administrative Building: 15,000 sf
Shop Building: 5,700 sf
Project Contact:
Ian Gelbrich, AIA
Partner, Market Lead

2024 DJC Top Projects Award

Site layout, landscape, and building design all work together to keep collected runoff visible and directed to a series of rain gardens which allow infiltration and overflow to be directed to the existing wetland as it would have naturally prior to our interventions. The Administrative and Shop Buildings’ shed roofs play into this concept by collecting water on their large surfaces, spilling it onto lower roof basins, then routing it to scuppers, and ultimately displaying ephemeral waterfalls which are both visible and audible in the staff courtyard and at the main building entrance. These water features are collected in planters and directed to the same rain gardens as the site-collected runoff.

FFA and our consultants worked through a number of building system options with SWA to maximize energy savings while ensuring reliability and comfort.  The main building’s orientation and the extensive CLT eaves reduce the amount of heat gain that the building might otherwise experience.  These measures, combined with a high-performance envelope, highly efficient VRF mechanical system, LED light fixtures, and a large photovoltaic (PV) array allowing the building to reach a dramatically  low Energy Utilization Index (EUI) of 15, when the facility first opens.  Additionally, the PV system is designed to be expandable to the Shop roof in the future, readying the building to achieve Net Zero energy over time.

When SWA moves to its new site, all staff members will have their desk and collaborative spaces in the Administrative Building rather than spread across the campus.  This shift is crucial for the evolving workplace culture of the agency and improves efficiency and collaboration among the various departments, both field and administrative.