Watershed wins National AIA COTE Top Ten Award

The AIA COTE Top Ten Award celebrates a holistic vision of good design characterized by AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence to elevate exemplary projects from which we can all learn.

The Framework for Design Excellence

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Design for Integration   |   Design for Equitable Communities   |  Design for Ecosystems   |  Design for Water   |  Design for Economy   |  Design for Energy   |  Design for Well-Being   |   Design for Resources   |   Design for Change   |   Design for Discovery

Watershed systems diagram

Design For Integration

The element that binds all the principles together with a big idea.

Watershed’s integrated building systems contribute to meeting the requirements of the Seattle Living Building Pilot, Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, and Salmon Safe Certification.

Design for Equitable Communities

Contribute to creating a diverse, accessible, walkable, just, and human-scaled community.

With over 100 bike racks and its proximity to the 27-mile Burke-Gilman Trail, Watershed promotes human-powered transportation and multi-modal access.

Map showing the migration path of salmon in Seattle through Lake Union

Design for Ecosystems

Mutually beneficial for human and nonhuman inhabitants.

Five types of salmon, a keystone species in Puget Sound, navigate urban waterways polluted with stormwater runoff. Every year, Watershed’s right-of-way improvements treat 400,000 gallons of toxic runoff from surrounding streets and the adjacent Aurora Bridge. This work supports a healthier ecology in local waterways, benefitting marine populations and human health.

Diagram showing the water benefits at Watershed next to a photo of a staff member in the kitchen.

Design for Water

Conserve and improve the quality of water as a precious resource.

The overhanging roof captures onsite rainwater (200,000 gallons per year), conveying it via a cascading downspout before storing it in a 20,000-gallon cistern for non-potable uses. The rainwater is filtered and re-used for toilets, urinals, and minimal on-site irrigation. With efficient plumbing fixtures and tenant participation, this contributes to a measured 88% reduction in potable water.

Design for Economy

Projects that provide abundance while living within their means.

The building adds office workers and visitors, retail and restaurant employees and patrons to the area, supporting density, urban livability, and municipal investment in infrastructure.

Design for Energy

Reduce energy use and eliminate dependence on fossil fuels while improving building performance, function, comfort, and enjoyment.

As a high performer, Watershed’s measured energy use was even better than predicted, and is 68% more efficient than a benchmark building.

Design for Well-Being

Support health and well-being for all people, considering physical, mental, and emotional effects on building occupants and the surrounding community.

Four out of seven levels of the building have access to exterior spaces, nurturing connections to the outdoors. Operable windows, natural daylight, and views further enhance the biophilic design features.

Design for Resources

Informed material selection, balancing priorities to achieve durable, safe, and healthy projects with an equitable, sustainable supply.

All 1,300 installed materials in the core and shell building and tenant improvements were vetted to avoid toxic chemicals, encourage manufacturer transparency, reduce embodied carbon, and support the regional economy through local sourcing.

Design for Change

Adaptability, resilience, and reuse are essential to good design, which seeks to enhance usability, functionality, and value over time.

Watershed’s urban apiary includes four beehives on the roof that connect to an extensive neighborhood “pollinator pathway” and supply building tenants with honey.

Design for Discovery

Opportunities to apply lessons learned from previous projects and gather information to refine the design and construction process.

The digital dashboard in the lobby displays real-time building energy and water metrics to visitors and explains the exemplary performance features of Watershed.

Thank you to our project partners:

HessCallahanGrey Group with Spear Street Capital
Turner Construction
DCI Engineers
Allana Buick & Bers, Inc.
Heffron Transportation
Applied Building Information, LLC