Bravest, Greenest Development Project


The GoodThe old adage “If you build it, they will come” is in full
experimental application at the corner of 15th Avenue and East Madison Street
on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, where the city’s largest Living Building project is
beginning to show signs of life. A collaboration among the Miller Hull
(the architect), Point32 (the developer), Schuchart (the general contractor)
and SchuchartThe Bullitt Foundation (the client), the 75-foot-high, six-story commercial
building is delivering on a challenge set last year by the local Cascadia Region
Green Building Council: to create a commercial facility that is completely
self-sustaining, from water conservation and solar power to net zero-energy

To be called the Cascadia Center for Sustainable Design and
, it is one of two local projects targeting Living Building
certification. (The other is a one-room science building at Capitol Hill’s
Bertschi School.) The center’s challenging site and sheer size have tested the
collective brain trust, which has responded with innovative solutions: Solar
panels on the top and along the south side (the largest photovoltaic system in
the city, once completed) will provide power and heat water, and rainwater
runoff will be collected, filtered and recycled so that 100 percent of water
used in the building will be “created” on site.

The building won’t be completed until next
year at the earliest, but the rise of a truly green commercial structure—in
lean development times, no less—may just be the beacon needed to inspire those
who must inevitably follow.

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