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The Hawthorne Hostel Ecoroof is located at 3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR, 97214. Read the entire detailed case study on the Hawthorne Hostel website here, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services here, City of Portland Planning and Sustainability here and on Tribe. Also read more about this and other Ecoroofs Everywhere projects here, and email Greg Haines at: Read the November 2003 Guest Feature Article about Ecoroofs Everywhere by Anthony Roy here and see “Urban gardens go up the wall” by Ruth Mullen of June 11, 2009 here. Visit Lando & Associates Landscape Architecture here:

Located in one of Portland?s most popular destinations, the Hawthorne District, the Hawthorne Hostel is Bohemian and enviro-conscious; in fact many people stay here for their green commitment. The area is known for its quaint eateries, coffeehouses, pubs, and unique shops. “The Portland Hawthorne Hostel is a 35-bed eco-hostel that serves an average of 3,800 world and American travelers per year. The hostel is designated as a Sustainable Living Center by its umbrella organization, Hostelling International USA,” (City of Portland Planning and Sustainability).

The Hawthorne Hostel Ecoroof is the most visible ecoroof in the Portland area. Educational signage along the sidewalk provides a strong connection between the pedestrian environment and the roof, and makes this site ideal for outreach and education regarding combined sewer overflows (CSOs), stormwater, and green building. This project was spearheaded by a group of community members who undertook all the challenges of retrofitting the porch roof of a 95 year old Victorian house to install an ecoroof. The ecoroof helps cool the hostel in the summer and provides food and nesting materials for birds, bees and other pollinators.

Completed in August 2002, this ecoroof project received $5,000 funding from City of Portland Environmental Services, Community Watershed Stewardship Program grant. Due to the age of the building, most of the grant funding paid for restructuring the porch and roof.

Ecoroof Assembly: Plywood Decking; Waterproof Membrane: EPDM; Soil Mix: 2″ Pro-Gro mix: native soil, compost and pumice. Topdressed with 1″ of pumice, vermiculite, compost and sand; Soil Depth: 2in/5cm; Saturated Soil Weight: 16.6 psf/81 kg/sq. meters; Soil Stabilization: jute blanket; Plant Material: Four species of sedum and yarrow. Replanted with marigolds, fescue, sedum and semperivivens.

Additional Info:
Irrigation: Manually irrigated during the summer; Solar Exposure: South; Permitting: Commercial building permit; Overflow: Perforated piping, gutter to downspout disconnect; Maintenance: Weeding and soil amendments.

Approximate cost of ecoroof: $7.70/ft2.In 2008, the hostel “completed a large-scale rainwater harvesting system that consists of two 4,000-gallon cisterns, living walls, bioswales, a perennial culinary herb garden and a cascading waterfall salmon sculpture,” (City of Portland Planning and Sustainability).

The living wall was designed by landscape architect Pat Lando. “California poppies line Hawthorne Hostel’s living wall, which helps filter storm-water overflow from two 4,000-gallon cisterns, directing water down the wall into a bioswale,” (Mullen, 2008, see below).


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