Slated to be one of the most ambitious green buildings in North America, the Cascadia Center for Sustainable Design and Construction will be the world’s most energy-efficient commercial building reinforcing the city of Seattle’s commitment to be at the forefront the green building movement. This exciting new building is planning to achieve the Living Building Challenge (version 2.0), as described by the International Living Building Institute.
The mixed-use building will serve as the future headquarters of the Bullitt Foundation as well as provide office and commercial space for leaders in the green building industry. Thursday, May 4th, at the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, a free community event will present the Cascadia Center. Further details can be found here.
One of the most iconic aspects of the building will be an extensive photo voltaic array that will generate 100 percent of the building’s energy. Located at the intersection of Seattle’s Central Area and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, the building will become a focal point for education and growing awareness about sustainable development. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011, and a completion date targeted for Earth Day, April 22nd, 2012.
To be certified as a Living Building, a structure is required to be self-sufficient for energy and water for at least 12 continuous months and to meet rigorous standards for green materials and for the quality of its indoor environment.
The Living Building Challenge requires a project to meet 20 specific imperatives within seven performance areas (or “Petals”). For the Cascadia Center, meeting the imperatives will include the following:
Site: The location will support a pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly lifestyle. Water: Rainwater will be collected on the roof, stored in an underground cistern and used throughout the building.
Energy: A solar array will generate as much electricity as the building uses.
Health: The building will promote health for its occupants, with inviting stairways, operable windows and features to promote walking and resource sharing.
Materials: The building will not contain any “Red List” hazardous materials, including PVC, cadmium, lead, mercury and hormone-mimicking substances, all of which are commonly found in building components.
Equity: Unlike many office buildings, large operable windows will offer fresh air and daylight to all the people who work in the Cacscadia Center. The goals of Seattle’s Community High Road Agreement will guide selection of the construction team.
Beauty: Stunning architecture, an innovative photovoltaic array, a green roof and other native plantings, large structural timbers and a revitalized neighboring pocket park will help beautify the surrounding streetscape.