Will This Be the Most Energy Efficient Building in the World?
The Bullitt Foundation is fighting back and attacking the trend of ordinary work spaces with an innovative project to create the “most energy efficient commercial building in the world.” The story, mentioned in a Jan. 30 post on Earth911, reveals that natural lighting, energy conservation and green technology will play a big part in the design. Although the ideas presented by the foundation have great potential, it may take time for them to become a standard in the industry that is adopted by most businesses.
The Bullitt Center, the Bullitt Foundation’s current project, will be a 50,000 square foot building in Seattle. The center will take on the Living Building Challenge that has been created by the International Living Future Institute. It will focus on energy conservation and green building practices to fulfill the vision of becoming one of the best places to work.
The commercial building will have six stories, and the first floor has already been leased to the International Living Future Institute and University of Washington Integrated Design Lab. With open floor plans and large windows, the Bullitt Center wants natural lighting to be the main focus of the design. However, daylight has its limitations, so early floor plans include the integration of other lighting concepts. Businesses will have the freedom to decide the type of lights used in their own offices. I recently had the opportunity to briefly interview Toby Ruckert, the founder of Viva-Lite, and he believes that full spectrum lighting could be one of the choices because energy-efficient bulbs will be preferred.
One of the main aspects of the Bullitt Center will be the promotion of a green lifestyle. This is why bicycle storage areas and pedestrian friendly areas are included in the design. Additionally, the building will collect rain water to conserve this resource and feature a solar array for power purposes. Toxic materials are being excluded from the construction process because of concerns about workers’ health, so there will be no PVC or lead. The center will also have a green roof and a focus on natural landscaping to create a beautiful space to work.