The Emerald City will soon get even greener next year as a new mixed-use office/retail project breaks ground, providing a new corporate headquarters for sports apparel maker Brooks Sports and space for other retail tenants. After overcoming some permitting challenges, the 129,000-square-foot Stone34 project is expected to break ground in Seattle in early 2013 and be completed by the middle of 2014, according to developer Skanska USA.
Stone34 may become one of the greenest buildings in Seattle once it’s finished. In addition to being pre-certified under the tough LEED Platinum guidelines, the project also is a participant of the even more rigorous Living Building Challenge, which sets minimum performance criteria for the siting, water conservation, energy efficiency, health, materials, equity and beauty of each project.
The project is also one of 12 charter members of Seattle’s own Deep Green Pilot Program. The city plan stipulates that these building designs use at least 75 percent less power than a conventional building of its size and capture and reuse at least half of its storm water runoff.
Some of the dozens of environmental features of the project include a hydronic radiant heating and cooling system, storm-water capture and reuse capability, windows that draw in more daylight and a passive air circulation system for the summer months. Sensors will also be built in to monitor continuously the energy usage habits of employees and will inform tenants about the amount of energy they are consuming.
The $51 million project, the first in Seattle to be self-financed by Skanska USA Commercial Development, will be sited along the Burke-Gillman trail, one of Seattle’s most well-used and beloved urban walking and biking trails, winding through 27 miles of the city. Stone34’s designers intend the building to be a major entry point for Burke-Gillman trail users and have included 8,500 square feet of outdoor pedestrian space that will interact with the trail and encourage tenants to commute by bicycle.
After Brooks announced its plans in 2011 to move from its current office complex in Bothell, Wash., to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Skanska put for a design for the mixed-use building that earned high marks from the environmental community but was not universally embraced by its neighbors.
The nearby Wallingford Community Council (WCC) complained that the height of the five-story, 65-foot complex was 20 feet higher than Seattle’s building codes, was too big for the low-rise neighborhood and would block views of nearby Lake Union. However, at the end of November, the appear from the neighborhood group was withdrawn after negotiating with Skanska to improve pedestrian access to Lake Union and make an exception to the height restriction.