Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center


Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation


Pendleton, OR

63,000 sf


May 2018

Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing


The Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, located just outside of Pendleton, provides healthcare services to tribe members and eligible American Indians and Alaska Natives living in Umatilla and Union counties. With healthcare facilities dispersed across the tribal campus in five aging structures, the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center (YTHC) was in need of a replacement health center, and an expansion of their services lines.


The new health center needed to: double the size of the previous clinic; consolidate services into one building with the latest technologies; and, be designed to allow space for additional services, such as optometry, audiology and physical therapy (which will be introduced later). The project team set challenging energy goals for the project – aiming to maximize the Oregon Energy Trust of Oregon’s rebate program, with a goal of proposed design performance at least 40% better than code.


The new health center is designed and constructed in a manner that acknowledges and respects the Tribe’s history, culture and values. The 60,000sf Medical Clinic includes medical, dental, pharmacy, lab, optometry and imaging services, and is centered around a team approach, improving communication between healthcare providers and providing patient-centered and relationship-based care. The first project in Eastern Oregon – and the first tribal building in Oregon – to Enroll in Energy Trust’s Path to Net Zero, the design meets the 40% savings requirement, allowing the project to qualify for Energy Trust’s highest incentive rate of $0.40/kWh, and earning a $450,000 Energy Trust grant in exchange for YTCH’s commitment to strive for NetZero energy use.

To help achieve the project’s NetZero goals, Mazzetti provided early stage energy modeling that allowed YTCH to assess and select systems that could met this challenge. Sustainable elements include: a high-performing mechanical system using variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology to manage heating and cooling of the building and water heating system; low flow plumbing fixtures and recovered heat for domestic water; the latest LED lighting technology and controls; a dedicated outside air system with heat recovery; a high-performance building envelope; and, a 100 kilowatt solar array with long-term plans for additional solar installation.


The new YTHC helps meet the tribe’s goal of providing integrated and high quality medical care to the members of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation. Through the consolidation of services into a technically advanced space, communication between healthcare providers has improved, and has allowed for integration of services such as medical and dental. On track to achieve NetZero, the building reflects community values, and once certified NetZero, will generate as much energy as it uses in a year, saving nearly $58,000 on utilities annually.


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