Biomimicry in Architectural Design: The Bullitt Center

Buildings account for an estimated 39% of carbon dioxide emissions, 65% of waste and 70% of electrical use in the United States. In the Pacific Northwest, a changing climate is already shifting our use of water, energy and other natural resources. To address this reality, the Bullitt Center in Seattle, WA is demonstrating what is possible today and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders to go even farther.

As the first urban structure of its kind, the Bullitt Center is inherently changing the way we think about buildings. Serving as a highly visible example of what’s possible when a team of people come together to advance uncommon wisdom, the Bullitt Center has accomplished the following:

  • Living Building: The 6-story, 50,000 sq. ft. building is the nation’s first urban mid-rise commercial project to achieve the rigorous goals of the Living Building Challenge, the most ambitious benchmark of sustainability in the built environment.
  • Net Positive Energy: In 2016 from the solar panels on its roof, the Bullitt Center produced 28 percent more energy than it used. Achieving net positive energy for a commercial office building in cloudy Seattle is a stunning accomplishment, due in large part to tenants in the fully leased building embracing the project mission.
  • Award Winning: The Bullitt Center has won a wide array of awards, including World Architecture News “Sustainable Building of the Year,” Engineering News-Record “National Best Green Project,” and Sustainable Building Industry Council “Beyond Green” award.
  • Influential: With a high profile, the Bullitt Center has influenced many other construction projects, including the Obama Library in Chicago and the Living Building at Georgia Tech.

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