Living Building Challenge-targeted Watershed improves Seattles water quality

June 1, 2020 by  
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Seattle-based design firm Weber Thompson has completed construction on Watershed, a mixed-use development that aggressively reduces its energy and water usage compared to conventional construction of the same size. Located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, the inspiring project is one of a few pioneering buildings pursuing the city’s Living Building Pilot Program. The project will also be targeting the Materials, Place and Beauty petals toward Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. Set at the intersection of Troll Avenue and 34th Street, the seven-story Watershed building comprises approximately 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail as well as 67,000 square feet of office space above. In addition to offering mixed-use appeal, the building also takes on an educational role. It includes informative signage in the landscape to help the public learn about the importance of clean water in the region as well as a digital dashboard in the lobby that displays real-time building performance data. To achieve the standards of Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program, Watershed is required to reduce energy use by 25% and water use by 75% compared to a baseline building. Related: The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the world’s greenest buildings Most impressively, Watershed features a comprehensive stormwater management plan that aims to capture and treat millions of gallons of runoff a year. Its cantilevered roof is engineered to capture 200,000 gallons of water a year that is used for on-site toilet flushing and irrigation. Stepped bio-retention planters also help retain and treat an additional 400,000 gallons of polluted stormwater runoff from the adjacent street and the Aurora Bridge annually prior to discharge in Lake Union. The building will eventually clean nearly 2 million gallons of toxic runoff from the Aurora Avenue Bridge annually as part of its three-phase Green Stormwater Infrastructure project. “Like every project we design, we’ve approached Watershed as an opportunity to create a building that positively impacts the broader community,” said Kristen Scott, architect and senior principal at Weber Thompson. “Watershed allows us to take what we’ve learned from some of our most ambitious sustainability projects to date and dig deeper to find new ways to showcase practical, achievable deep green design. Our goal is to inspire, through design, a stronger connection to place, community, and the environment around us.” The sustainable building also uses locally sourced materials, salvaged materials and state-of-the-art building energy controls and systems.  + Weber Thompson Images via Weber Thompson

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Living Building Challenge-targeted Watershed improves Seattles water quality

Building the Future, Jason McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design

October 3, 2017 by  
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The co-author of the Living Building Challenge and one of the world’s most admired thinkers in green building shows how the future of the built environment is manifesting today. 

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Building the Future, Jason McLennan, CEO, McLennan Design

Etsy hacked an app to track waste — one you can use, too

April 13, 2017 by  
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The only publicly tech company to be certified under the Living Building Challenge is open-sourcing the system it uses to measure what’s leaving its offices.

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Etsy hacked an app to track waste — one you can use, too

3 ways to embed sustainability in public-private partnerships

April 13, 2017 by  
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Sustainability considerations should be prominent in the design, development and operational phases of the PPP process.

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3 ways to embed sustainability in public-private partnerships

Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

February 10, 2017 by  
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There’s a new contender for the world’s greenest home: Desert Rain House in Bend, Oregon . Designed by Tozer Design , the LEED Platinum home recycles all its water, produces more power than it can use, and it is the first residential compound to be certified by the Living Building Challenge . Solar panels and a rainwater collection cistern help this super green home pioneer a new paradigm for sustainable family living. The five-building Desert Rain House boasts seriously environmentally friendly features. Human waste is composted thanks to a central composting system, and greywater is reused for irrigation via a constructed wetland. Natural and local materials comprise the elegant dwellings; reclaimed lumber and plaster made with local clay, sand, and straw are among the sustainable building materials utilized. Related: Kansas University students build net-zero home with LEED Platinum and Passive House certification Materials from old buildings that once occupied the site were repurposed for Desert Rain House, such as old stone salvaged from old foundations and used in concrete for patios. The team that built the home looked for ways to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. For example, instead of having a manufacturer ship them roofing panels, the team assembled roofing onsite from a large roll of steel. Red List-compliant sealants and finishes also make for a non-toxic environment. Indoors the air is clear: not only can the owners open large windows for air circulation, but a waste heat-capturing energy recovery ventilator also means fresh air continually wafts through the main residence. Three homes and two out-buildings add up to 4,810 square feet situated on 0.7 acres. Elliott Scott, who owns the home with his wife Barbara, said in a statement, “We can’t continue thinking we are building a better world by making a ‘less bad’ version of the world we have created. The Living Building Challenge forces us to think in terms of a new paradigm.” + Tozer Design + Desert Rain House Via International Living Future Institute and Curbed Images via Desert Rain House Facebook and Desert Rain House

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Desert Rain House in Oregon is one of the greenest homes in the world

One of the world’s greenest buildings 14 feet above sea level prepares for climate change

April 4, 2016 by  
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One of the world’s greenest buildings 14 feet above sea level prepares for climate change

The First Building in Canada to Rise to the Living Building Challenge (Is for Kids)

July 11, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of The First Building in Canada to Rise to the Living Building Challenge (Is for Kids) Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , “solar energy” , “sustainable architecture” , Architecture , biophilia , british columbia , Daylighting , Eco Architecture , eco design , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green materials , Hughes Condon Marler Architects , Living Building Challenge , net-zero energy , passive solar , renewable energy , self sufficient building , solar panels , Solar Power , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , UniverCity Childcare Center

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The First Building in Canada to Rise to the Living Building Challenge (Is for Kids)

INTERVIEW: Architect David Benjamin on Building The World’s First Mushroom Tower at PS1

July 11, 2014 by  
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You may have heard the riddle about mushrooms being the only rooms with no walls, but David Benjamin is flipping the script on the old joke with some incredible mycotecture built from mushroom bricks! The architect and his firm, The Living , are pushing the boundaries of design by experimenting with biotecture, blurring the lines between biology and built environments. Their latest efforts have culminated in the world’s first tower made from fungus , which debuted at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York last week. We recently had the chance to pick Benjamin’s brain about the future of mycotecture (mushroom architecture) , the benefits of biological buildings and what inspired this innovative new Hy-Fi tower in Queens. Read on to see what the biotect, innovator and director of the “Living Architecture Lab” at GSAPP has to say. Read the rest of INTERVIEW: Architect David Benjamin on Building The World’s First Mushroom Tower at PS1 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: biotecture , buildings made of mushrooms , David Benjamin , eco design , fungus bricks , fungus tower , green design , inhabitat , inhabitat interview , innovative architecture , living architecture 3:47 ecovative , MoMA PS1 , moma ps1 mushroom building , mushroom brick , mushroom bricks , mushroom buildings , mushroom tower , mycelium , mycelium bricks , mycotecture , PS1 , sustainable design , the living

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INTERVIEW: Architect David Benjamin on Building The World’s First Mushroom Tower at PS1

Vik Muniz Transforms Garbage from Rio de Janeiro Landfills into Stunning Works of Art

July 11, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Vik Muniz Transforms Garbage from Rio de Janeiro Landfills into Stunning Works of Art Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Brazil , eco design , found materials , garbage sculptures , green design , Jardim Gramacho Landfill , landfills , Photography , PS 1 , rio de janeiro , sustainable design , vik muniz , WASTE LAND documentary

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Vik Muniz Transforms Garbage from Rio de Janeiro Landfills into Stunning Works of Art

‘LOCAL: Make The Switch’ Environmental Design Film Series Launches on Kickstarter

December 3, 2012 by  
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A new film project is underway that will explore the power of thinking locally and how local design can impact the world. Aptly named LOCAL: Make the Switch , the project will consist of 25 short films and an ambitious social media site that seeks to turn our media consumption into positive action. To help get the films in the can they are looking to Kickstarter  for some love. With inspiring stories on rooftop gardens , eco hub communities, and the Living Building Challenge , LOCAL will provide the key insights about how we can make new urbanism a reality. Read the rest of ‘LOCAL: Make The Switch’ Environmental Design Film Series Launches on Kickstarter Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: community gardens , green design , Green Film , green movie , green project Kickstarter , high line , kickstarter , Living Building Challenge , Local film , localisation

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‘LOCAL: Make The Switch’ Environmental Design Film Series Launches on Kickstarter

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