After twelve years in our LEED Gold, award-winning home, The Terry Thomas, we are excited to announce that we are moving to our recently completed commercial office project, Watershed, at the end of the year.
Watershed is a 72,000 GSF Class A+ office structure located at Troll Avenue N and N 34th Street in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. It is pursuing the 2014 version of Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP) which requires aggressive energy and water usage reductions as well as other sustainably-forward strategies. Here are some of the features that we are most excited about in our new home:
- Watershed includes approximately 61,000 SF of commercial office contained within seven stories, and approximately 5,000 SF of retail at grade. Our offices will be located on level two of the building.
- Along Troll Avenue N, extensive bioswales naturally clean approximately 400,000 gallons annually of toxic runoff from the Aurora Bridge while integrating a series of outdoor terraces. The project is also pursuing Salmon-Safe certification.
- Watershed is pursuing the LBPP’s Materials, Place, and Beauty petals from the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. The building favors healthier materials that are locally sourced, red-list compliant, and have an ILFI Declare Label or a list of all product ingredients.
- A few of Watershed’s familiar features include castellated beams and natural daylighting, though the building boasts many elements that The Terry Thomas does not: fully-vetted red-list free materials inside and out, educational signage, environmental art, and a bicycle locker room for 100 bikes, plus showers. An electrochromic glass façade self-tints on sunny days, reducing heat gain and glare, and contributing to a 25% reduction in energy use over a code baseline building.
- The building is projected to reduce water use by 75% over a baseline building. Extensive water capture on site is visible from the exterior of the building via a dramatic cantilevered roof, cascading vertical gutter system and oversized sculptural steel scupper which flows into a water capture cistern. The building captures 200,000 gallons of water annually for use on-site for toilet flushing and irrigation.
Going ‘Deep Green,’ Office Buildings Give Back to the Planet
The New York Times
Looking forward to a new chapter of sustainability
While The Terry Thomas has been integral to our story about sustainability for the past decade, we look forward to the tradition of working in a ‘learning laboratory.’
“Watershed has given us an opportunity to push the boundaries of high-performance design in ways we had never imagined,” says Managing Partner Kristen Scott. “Although the strategies employed at Watershed are different than those in The Terry Thomas, they are very much a continuation of what we learned from designing and working in it for over a decade. We kept the very best parts, like great daylighting and a courtyard entry, overlaid with new technologies to make it even better. This move allows us to showcase the intersection of sustainable design and technology to our clients and ideally inspire them to do the same.”
Our commercial office and interior design studios are currently designing the tenant improvement at Watershed. Earlier this year we held a series of internal charrettes that helped us gather input from our staff about the new space, and prioritize everyone’s needs. “This is one of those rare opportunities to be our own best client. We implemented our collaborative design approach internally, and it yielded great results.” states Scott.
Schuchart is the general contractor and they plan to start construction on the build out of the new space in August. Move in will likely take place at the end of 2020. Until then, we will continue to work out of The Terry Thomas building, although many employees continue to work remotely as a result of COVID-19 safety protocols.
“We transitioned to a remote work environment fairly seamlessly, but many of our employees are eager to get back to the office—with appropriate safety measures in place.” says Scott. “Remote work has been surprisingly productive, but what we all miss are the day-to-day interactions and natural opportunities for collaboration that happen in an office environment. Our space at Watershed will be designed to support both spontaneous and structured design processes, and the incubation of great ideas.”