LIVING PROOF: The Bullitt Center, Three Years Later

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“The world is facing an imminent, unprecedented, multi-lateral environmental crisis: climate disruption; ocean acidification; an epidemic of extinction; severe shortages of fresh water; loss of topsoil; vulnerable monocultures; a global wave of toxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals; overfishing; clear cutting; and an exploding human population with growing demands for scarce resources.

These are not problems for your children. These are our problems.

What we need right now is a major leap forward, and a quantum change in our environment. Our desire is to open a wedge into the future so that we, and others, can see what is possible in a contemporary office building.”
-Denis Hayes, President, Bullitt Foundation

Certified as the world’s largest commercial "Living Building" and one of the most energy-efficient commercial buildings in the world, the Bullitt Center is a game-changing project that has profound implications for the built and natural environments, the Seattle and Pacific Northwest communities, and the global community at large.

The Bullitt Center aims to change the way we invest in energy-efficient design. Working with Seattle City Light, the Bullitt Foundation has embarked on a new energy efficiency investment approach nicknamed the “Negawatt” system. This system will permit energy efficiency to be bought and sold as an investment by separating the efficiency investor from the building owner. If this pilot approach is successful and the “Negawatt” system is adopted nationally, it could be a trillion-dollar game changer.

Open for three years in February 2016 and certified as a Living Building in April 2015, the Bullitt Center serves as living proof that self-sustaining, net positive buildings are financially achievable, comfortable for tenants, and a beautiful addition to the community while leaving virtually no environmental footprint. By sharing lessons learned from the project, including how to do more with less, occupant experience antidotes, and actual energy use and production, the team hopes to educate and inspire owners and future design teams to create projects that exceed the Bullitt Center’s performance.

Margaret Sprug, AIA, Principal, Muller Hull
Marc Brune, PE, LEED AP, Associate Principal, PAE

Margaret Sprug is a principal at Miller Hull with 30 years of experience on a variety award winning and highly sustainable projects including higher education, community and civic projects. She is a firm leader in workplace design and sustainable design and is responsible for helping Miller Hull break new ground with Living Buildings: The Bullitt Center, Eastern Washington University’s NESST Center and The Living Building at Georgia Tech. Sprug is also leading the Living Building Petal certification for Miller Hull’s new Seattle Office. Sprug received a bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University in 1986, and a master of architecture degree in 1993 from Columbia University.

Marc Brune is an Associate Principal and mechanical engineer with PAE, a national leader in sustainable design. He believes that designers have a responsibility to create buildings that minimize resource use, and brings this conviction to his projects to help create buildings that lead the industry toward a net zero energy future. Among his projects are the Bullitt Center, the world’s largest commercial Living Building, and the Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center, aiming to go beyond net zero to net positive. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Portland.

Organized by: AIANY Committee on the Environment

Sponsored by: ConEd & Mohawk Group