Bullitt Center Essay

1273 words - 6 pages

The Bullitt Center is located in Seattle, Washington and is the greenest commercial building in the world. It was built to meet the goals of the Living Building Challenge. The living Building Challenge is challenge, created by the International Living Building Institute, which requires a building to be self-sufficient for energy use and water use for a minimum period of 12 months, employ green materials, and create quality indoor environments. There are also seven performance areas that include site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty with 20 specific imperative qualifications within the seven performance areas.
From the beginning the designers of the Bullitt Center wanted to design a building that was connected to the neighborhood and surrounding environment. The site that the Bullitt Center was built on was chosen to bring more commercial activity to the surrounding residential area. One of the goals of the designers was to find a neighborhood that wanted to create interesting urban spaces and to redevelop an underutilized building site. A park that is located to the south of the building, McGilvra Park, was also revitalized as part of the project with the joint efforts from the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Parks Foundation. Another reason the site was chosen was because of its accessibility to alternative transit options. Located within a half mile of the Bullitt Center are a number of public bus routes as well as a proposed light rail station within walking distance. Plants were placed along the sidewalks to help protect pedestrians from vehicle traffic as well as add to a more pleasing environment. There is no parking lot located within the buildings site but it does have indoor storage for bicycles and a shower facility for commuters.
Its common knowledge that the north western portion of the United States receives an enormous amount of precipitation and the Bullitt Center is located within this region. One concern with any area that receives large amounts of storm water is the pollution that occurs to the surrounding environment of a developed area caused by surface runoff. The best way to deal with this issue is to collect the storm water and treat it onsite and to find other beneficial uses for it. The Bullitt Center achieves this by collecting rainwater that falls on its large roof. The rainwater is collected in a 56,000 gallon underground cistern. The collected rainwater is then treated through a multistep system of filters to clean out particulates and subject to UV light disinfectant. While the system is still in testing, the end goal is to reuse the treated water in sinks, water fountains, and showers within the building and accomplish have all of its water demands met onsite. If this can be accomplished the building will be designated as its own water district. Rain water that is not collected is guided through permeable pavement and plants located along side of walkways....

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