For those interested in entering into the competition but unsure about the feasibility of an urban, multi-story office building pursuing the Living Building Challenge, check out the Bullitt Center in Seattle, WA. The project is currently under construction and expected to be certified “Living” some time toward the end of 2013.
Bullitt Center Description:
Anyone asked to describe the Bullitt Center is likely to begin with its large, visually arresting roof. To capture enough solar energy to power a six-story building in cloudy Seattle, an expansive roof is essential. The roof is also a collecting basin to capture rainwater to store seasonally in a huge cistern. This functional design provides a striking architectural signature for the building—it is as regionally appropriate in its own way as adobe or stilts.
The Bullitt Center has unusually high ceilings: The developers (Point32) included one fewer floor than would have been possible under Seattle’s regulations in order to ensure that every tenant has direct access to daylight and fresh air. The architects (Miller | Hull) specified ample use of gorgeous FSC-certified wood from nearby forests for the walls and ceilings. The owner (Bullitt Foundation) demanded an external, glass-enclosed staircase with great views to lure tenants away from the elevator, saving electricity while promoting health through exercise.
The end result is an elegant, simple, modern structure. Its features are the product of creative efforts to fulfill its purpose as an office building in ways that serve the tenants’ needs as efficiently as possible in a Seattle environment.