Coming to Seattle: The Greenest Building on the Planet

The six-story, $30 million building will serve as a learning laboratory for green design.
Kristen Russell  |   September 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
An artistic rendering of the completed Bullitt Center on Capitol Hill

When it’s finished this fall, the Bullitt Center (bullittcenter.org) will be the greenest commercial building on the planet, using solar panels, geothermal wells, composting toilets and rainwater collection, among other innovations, to achieve “net zero” energy use. The six-story, $30 million building, on Capitol Hill at 15th Avenue and McGilvra Place, will serve as a learning laboratory for green design, and house the sustainability advocacy group Bullitt Foundation. The project is on track to achieve the rare “Living Building Challenge” designation—the most ambitious benchmark of sustainability in the world. Here’s a look at the project by the numbers.

56,000 Size of the rainwater cistern, in gallons

50,000 Square footage of building interior

14,303 Square footage of solar array on the roof

600 Radius for purchasing all wood, in miles

362 Number of common hazardous materials avoided

300 Radius for sourcing heavy materials, such as steel and concrete, in miles

250 Lifespan of the building, in years

82 Percentage of the building that is lit by natural daylight

26 Number of geothermal wells used to heat and cool the building

2 Number of times tenants must flush the composting toilets (once before use, once after)

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