Building Profile: Bullitt Center


Building Profile: Bullitt Center

By Angela Cabotaje
It’s common knowledge that Seattle is ahead of the game when it comes to green (just check out this New York Times story about a modern passive house in Madison Park and our blog post about modern and green real estate), but did you know the greenest commercial building in the world—that’s right, in the world—is right here?
The Bullitt Center, located on the edge of Capitol Hill at East Madison Street and 15th Avenue, officially opened in April 2013 with every square inch of its modern design considered with the environment in mind. It is one of just 143 projects in the word that meet the rigorous Living Building Challenge standards, which far exceed those required for LEED certification. Of those 143 “Living Buildings,” only three are located in the United States.

Among its impressive array of green features, the six-story, 50,000-square-foot Bullitt Center boasts composting toilets, FSC-certified fir timbers, a geothermal heating system that pumps heat directly into the concrete floors and walls, ample windows for passive cooling, and a water filtration system comprised of pervious pavement and a green roof to lessen the impact of runoff on Seattle’s lakes and Puget Sound. The building has a net-zero impact on the environment with a 56,000-gallon cistern that collects enough rainwater for all its water needs and an array of photovoltaic cells that can produce enough power to cover its energy consumption.

Plus, it also promotes a healthy work lifestyle for tenants. The Bullitt Center has a 98 Walk Score location that’s close to transit, a bicycles-only parking garage, and a glass-encased stairway that features stunning views of downtown so there’s an added perk for taking the stairs.

Led by the Bullitt Foundation, the center was designed and built by a Pacific Northwest team that includes Schuchart, Miller Hull Partnership, Point32, PAE Consulting Engineers, Foushee, Luma Lighting Design, 2020 Engineering, and Berger Partnership. Tours for groups of 20 take place at 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

In all, the Bullitt Center has been built to last 250 years and is already 83 percent more efficient than the average commercial building in Seattle. Now that’s saying something.

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