Brooks building makes run at sustainability

Brooks building makes run at sustainability

Photo courtesy of Doug Scott

In ultra environmentally-conscious Seattle, most builders put at least a couple sustainable features in their projects, but few have taken on the challenge of the city’s arduous Living Building Pilot Program. Brooks Running’s Seattle headquarters last week became only the second building to be certified under the program, reports GeekWire.

Participating in the program, then called the Deep Green Pilot Program, allowed the team behind the 132,300-square-foot structure to construct a bigger building. But the project had to cut water and energy usage by 75 percent relative to comparable buildings, reuse 50 percent of rainwater captured on site and hit numerous benchmarks supplied by the International Living Future Institute, the organization that developed the program. If the building didn’t pass the test, the main players on the project team would be looking at financial penalties.

The only other building to complete the city’s living building program so far is the Bullitt Center.

Following a year-long test period, the building beat its conservation goals. Part of that was due to the many green construction aspects put in by developer and contractor Skanska USA, but Brooks employees played a role as well.

Skanska and team members LMN Architects, McKinstry and others designed and built a mechanical system that includes chilled beams, air and water heat recovery systems and a thermal storage tank. The walls, roof and other pieces of the building envelope are highly-insulated to make sure heat and air don’t leak out of the building. The reused rainwater helps cool the building, is used in toilets and irrigation of onsite vegetation.

A reader board in the building’s “Beastro Cafe” displays the building’s energy usage in real time. A piece called the Fissure in the lobby changes along with energy usage. The piece “blooms” when power usage is low and “wilts” when it is high.


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