In approximately 75 or so days, the greenest commercial building in the world is slated to come online at 15th and E Madison. We were there when ground was broken on the project in August 2011.
In the meantime, the structure has provided an education in ultra-green construction:
How can a six-story, 50,000-sq.-ft. office building in downtown Seattle function completely off the grid? The answer involves solar panels for energy, geothermal wells for heat, a giant rain cistern for water and composting toilets for keeping sewage out of everything else.
And the granularity of focus required to achieve a zero-energy building:
Each item is entered into a spreadsheet as it becomes a potential material to be used on the project. The next step is to research the materials for two key issues: the chemicals it contains and the distance it has to travel to the site. The LBC has a list of chemicals called the Red List that are deemed dangerous to our health and these are not allowed to be found in any of the building materials. The LBC also has established the maximum distance a material can travel, with the goal of supporting local sourcing and to reduce the environmental impact of shipping materials over a long distance.
The Sustainable Seattle group recently toured the site and reported back that construction is on track: “The building is only two and half months away from being occupied and is truly the world’s most progressive, self-sufficient building.”
Wednesday night, you can learn more about the building at a Seattle Architecture Foundation lecture on the Bullitt Center held at the nearby Temple De Hirsch Sinai:
When: Wednesday, October 24th, 2012. 5pm-8pm.
Where: The Bullitt Center and The Temple De Hirsch Sinai
What does it really mean to build green today? Get the insiders’ perspective on the challenges and rewards associated with creating what is being hailed as the greenest commercial building in the world. Read more about the event here.
For more information on the project, click here.Tickets: Buy tickets here!
Sorry, the tour is sold out but these pictures do a pretty good job of showing the new place off.