Center for Integrated Design

August 10, 2016

Bullitt Center Breathes Life into Future of Urban Sustainability

The Bullitt Center continues to shed light on what’s possible in urban sustainability, as found by the University of Washington Integrated Design Lab’s (UW IDL) ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the building’s energy performance.

Known as the ‘greenest office building in the world’, the Bullitt Center’s energy use and production has performed better than predicted throughout its three years of operation. Initially designed to achieve net-zero energy, the Bullitt Center has been net-positive energy during its past two years of operation, producing more energy than it has consumed.

The Bullitt Center’s success is attributed to the project team’s steadfast commitment to meet the Living Building Challenge, which meant designing a building with unprecedented energy performance. Adhering to integrated design principles, the team’s realized vision demonstrates the benefit of collaboration throughout the design process, and represents the potential for high impact sustainability in an urban environment.

“The attention-getting elements of the Bullitt Center—100% onsite renewable energy, water and waste management, as well as a safe, naturally day-lit and ventilated work environment built to last 250 years—follow from an equally exciting integrated design process that enabled us to move beyond the traditionally linear design, engineering and construction process,” said Craig Curtis, design partner with The Miller Hull Partnership.

“It was energizing to identify imaginative and elegant ways to beautifully express the building’s core performance functions through design strategies using a mix of existing and new technologies, systems, and materials. While in one sense we had to do more with less, we happily found that designing to high-performance targets actually opened up numerous formal design opportunities.”

Guided by the vision of the Bullitt Foundation, the Bullitt Center design team included Point32 (development partner), Miller Hull Partnership (architect), PAE Engineers (MEP engineering), Schuchart (general contractor), and the UW IDL (technical assistance). As current tenants in the building, the UW IDL has been actively involved with the Bullitt Center since providing daylighting analysis and advisory services to the design team.

The Bullitt Center is owned and operated by the Bullitt Foundation, a sixty-year-old Seattle philanthropy that strives to make the Pacific Northwest a global model for sustainable, resilient prosperity. For more information on the Bullitt Center please refer to the UW IDL’s project and publication pages.