Spotlight On NW Creative: Ziba’s Sustainable Digs

Portland’s Ziba Design is a big deal. Almost as big of a deal as Wieden + Kennedy is, but in design, not advertising, circles.
According to Fast Company, Ziba’s new 56,000 square foot headquarters in Portland’s Pearl District provided a chance for the firm to walk its talk and create a much more public presence for the Ziba brand in its home city.
The new building–an urban infill project–is made of 40% recycled materials and 90% of construction materials were recycled, as well. In other words, the building is Portland to the core.

The interiors use glowing planks of reclaimed wood that was sourced from a barn outside Portland, and polished but still quite rugged concrete floors contain fly-ash. Almost the entire north facing wall is windows, allowing natural light to fall gently into the workspaces. The building is aiming for Gold LEED certification, and in the meantime, the designers are still making tweaks that will make it even more green: They plan to add a vegetable garden to one part of the unused roof.

Ziba decided to dedicate 15,000 square feet of ground-floor space to retail. The space is unoccupied at this time, but that will no doubt change as the economy rebounds.
By the way, if you’re particularly interested in sustainable design, the firm where my wife works has developed an even higher standard for green buildings than LEED. Learn more at International Living Building Institute. You can also follow @livingbuilding on Twitter.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.