seattle living building Photo: S design proposal

Seattle is well known for its sustainability-focused initiatives and drive to make the city as earth friendly as possible. To continue these efforts, the city has recently incorporated a Living Building Pilot program that will encourage builders and designers to achieve an extremely high level of efficiency practices.

Not just in Seattle, the rigorous Living Building Challenge is a worldwide initiative designed to “create the foundation for a sustainable future in the fabric of communities.” Launched in 2006, the challenge calls for all development professionals, politicians and citizens to come together and create places that are healthier for the world and those living in it.

As of spring 2014, the challenge accounted for 192 projects around the world. Seattle based developers at UrbanVisions have proposed what could be the largest Living Building structure in the country with a 1.1 million-square-foot office and retail complex simply named “S.”

BuzzBuzzHome reached out to the Founder and CEO of UrbanVisions, Greg Smith, who told us the timing of the project could not be more relevant.

“We are legitimately concerned and focused on keeping the community clean, green and blue.” Greg said, adding that the plan is to “utilize clean rainwater so efficiently that the result captures three million gallons of water per year.”

Greg said the recent design review went well and the city is supporting the Living Building Pilot program. The design proposal includes six office buildings that would be range between eight to ten stories tall. The project would also incorporate four of the Living Building standards, which include a focus on place, water, materials and beauty.

In order for a structure to be Living Building Certified, S must attain at least three of the seven requirements or “petals” with one having a water-saving focus. The total list of petals includes: place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity and beauty.


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