Cascadia Center can make Seattle a green-building leader
March 29, 2011
By Daniel S. Friedman and Doris W. Koo of Crosscut: The world’s greenest, most energy-efficient office building is taking root in Seattle. And while the project will deliver a wide array of environmental benefits, it will also increase knowledge and create positive economic impacts that are equally significant for the people of Seattle and beyond.
The project matters for one more critical reason: As the climate changes we desperately need new models for development.
It is estimated that building construction and operations accounts for 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, 65 percent of waste and 70 percent of electrical use in the United States. Led by the Bullitt Foundation, a team of architects and builders aim to change these statistics through the design and development of the Cascadia Center for Sustainable Design and Construction.
Solar panels will generate as much energy as the building occupants use, showing that solar works, even in Seattle. Our ample supply of rain will provide as much water as occupants need, and wastewater will be treated on site to reduce downstream impacts. Large, operable triple-glazed windows will create offices where every worker can experience daylight and fresh air will circulate through the entire building. The use of toxic materials, which unfortunately are all too common, will be highly restricted in favor of locally sourced building products designed to last 250 years. Read more