Editor’s Note: This post is part of Sightline’s Getaway to Seattle Sweepstakes. Sign up for one of our emails and be entered to win a two-day trip to Seattle.
Seattle always ranks high on lists of US cities with green buildings, with more than 80 large buildings and nearly 50 homes now certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Since the city began mandating green construction practices in its own buildings a decade ago, the techniques have spread to offices, condos, single family homes, educational centers, even clean-and-sober low-income housing.
Take the Hyatt at Olive 8, which will be hosting our lucky sweepstakes winner for two luxurious nights. It’s the first LEED-certified hotel in the city, with everything from low-flow showerheads to preferred parking spaces for fuel-efficient cars to spa treatments that feature locally-grown ingredients. It’s expected to use 23 percent less energy than a comparable conventional building, and 36 percent less water. Plus, it walked the anti-sprawl walk: by purchasing development rights that allowed it to build higher in the city, the project also helped preserve open space on Sugarloaf Mountain in rural King County.
Here are some other green building projects to check out while you’re in town:
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Several years ago, the city faced a daunting task: create a liveable civic center for a neighborhood whose identity was defined primarily by a shopping mall and parking lots. A new Northgate library, community center and park helped provide a collective anchor for the community, incorporating green building features and amenities for residents of high-density projects planned nearby.
Okay, so we already gushed about the city’s architecturally arresting downtown library in another post on what’s great about Seattle. But it also achieved LEED silver status with an abundance of energy-saving measures and attention to giving the building a long and fruitful life. In particular, its window glazing system and abundant natural light decreases energy use and the need for artificial lighting, even in cloudy Seattle.
Across from Seattle Center, the 12-story Mosler Lofts residential condo building also features 10-foot-tall windows to maximize daylight. Forty-three percent of the street level has been transformed from concrete into green landscaping, and 18 percent of the roof is covered in gardens. Many of the building materials—from brick to concrete to glass—were made within 500 miles of the site.
This project proves that green building can be done on a tight budget. These affordable studio units in Southeast Seattle use radiant heat, passive cooling systems and finishes that resist mold to improve indoor air quality for residents living with HIV/AIDS. Its other sustainable features made it the first multi-family affordable housing project in Washington to receive LEED platinum status for homes.
This interactive tour shows off the features of the newest addition to Seattle University’s campus on Capitol Hill, which is expected to achieve LEED gold certification. The structure itself is a recycled warehouse, with 90 percent of the new building’s materials coming from the older building.
Interested in green building, urban design and energy efficiency? Sign up to receive Sightline Daily, a daily rundown of news on Northwest sustainability, before Oct. 28 and win a two-night stay at Olive 8.
Olive 8 photo courtesy of flickr user fristle, Northgate photo courtesy of flickr user djwudi, and Seattle Central Library photo courtesy of flickr user brewbooks, under the Creative Commons license. Kenyon House photo courtesy of Housing Resources Group and Seattle University photo courtesy of Braden Van Dragt.