Digital edition 2021 | Plasterboard

Multnomah County Central Courthouse

United StatesUnited StatesCompany Name: Performance Contracting, Inc.

Project description

Because it sits near a fault line, experts say Oregon faces the real possibility of a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake. Portland’s new central courthouse – the Multnomah County Courthouse – is built to withstand the significant seismic and moisture activity the region is known for. This 17-story courthouse is an exceptionally tall and highly visible landmark helping to define Portland’s skyline. With a 100-year life expectancy and 16-ft ceilings, only the best materials and most innovative construction techniques would do. The project includes the retrofit of a 100-year building, upgraded with modern materials that meet the needs of the public space while preserving the historic integrity of the structure.


Performance Contracting, Inc.

As one of the leading specialty contractors in the United States, PCI offers quality services and products to the industrial, commercial and non-residential markets. We provide our customers with diverse but related services, positioning PCI as a true “single-source” contractor. As a result, our reputation for “providing value that exceeds customers’ expectations” has warranted our significant growth. Today, PCI is an employee-owned company with 40+ offices nationwide.

Robustness guarantee
With a 100-year life expectancy and 16-ft ceilings, only the most durable materials would do, including EXTREME Impact and Diamondback tile backer.
Moisture resistance
It rains approximately 43 inches (191.22 cm) per year in Portland. Exterior walls specified GlasRoc Sheathing, M2Tech and Extreme Impact for interior.
Productivity gain
Unhappy with the specified substrate, tilers needed one that would better meet their needs and selected Diamondback for its improved grip of tile.

Key Achievements

  • GOOD RELATIONSHIP/ COOPERATION WITHIN THE TEAM – The trades, manufacturers and construction management team worked well together to select the modern materials that would deliver on the design goals for the project, and keep the schedule on track.
  • INVENTION OF NEW SOLUTIONS – delays in the construction schedule resulted in a decision to begin interior drywall construction while the building was still exposed to the elements. CertainTeed and the contractor worked together to select EXTREME Impact and M2Tech drywall to keep timelines in tact
  • Tight Project Budget – CertainTeed EXTREME Impact board was specified, as well as Diamondback Tile Backer, enabling craftspeople to do quality work faster.
  • Weather & Site Productivity – These were dominating elements of this project because of the amount of rainfall in the area. As a result, the team needed to get work done quickly before the building was closed off.
  • Strong Emphasis on Exterior Architectural Design – This was given the location and visibility of the project in the city skyline. The project includes sloped ceilings from the edge of the building down into the courtrooms, which is featured when the building is lit up at night. The drywall includes a Level 4 finish throughout, and product selection contributed to site productivity to achieve a high-level aesthetic result on a tight timetable.
  • Tight Project Budget – The building was large in comparison to the area to accommodate it. Trades had to work together to collaborate and coordinate resources, schedules, and materials delivery.


Building owner:
Multnomah County Facilities and Property Management Division
SRG Partnership
Main contractor:
Heath Hansen, Performance Contracting, Inc.
Jeff Amram
Saint-Gobain Team:
Ben Buslach, Territory Manager US, CertainTeedSteve Hawkins, Vice President of Sales US, CertainTeed