What a delight to see the Bullitt Center’s vision for a sustainable future coming true.
In a press release to the media on Tuesday, spokesman Brad Kahn announced the center used 75 percent less energy compared to other new buildings required to meet city code. Within the same 12-month period, solar panels on the roof generated 252,560 kWh of renewable energy.
Before the building opened to the public last year, CEO and Earth Day Founder Denis Hayes gave me a tour of the 50,000 square-foot project World Architecture News dubbed the “greenest commercial building in the world.” I blogged about the sneak peek for Opinion Northwest, wrote an editorial notebook and posted several photos from my Instagram feed, which can be viewed below.
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On this Earth Day, Hayes issued a refreshingly bold statement: “After seeing how the Bullitt Center performed in its first year, I’m certain we will be net positive energy, not just net zero. If we can do this in cloudy Seattle, owners in other cities should be embarrassed if they don’t achieve zero net energy.”
Bravo to the city of Seattle for cooperating so effectively with the Bullitt Center and giving its contractors more flexibility than usual. See? Regulators aren’t always the bad guys stifling innovation.
The center is inspiring communities beyond the Pacific Northwest. On Tuesday, National Geographic’s energy blog featured a story about the center’s quest to be only the sixth certified “Living Building” in the world. As the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog notes, one of the remaining challenges preventing that distinction could be the Bullitt Center’s relatively low 85 percent occupancy rate.
Something tells me the building will continue to attract visitors and tenants inspired by its example of what’s possible in the sustainable building movement.