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New York Times News Service
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The world’s greenest office building is set to open in Seattle on April 22, Earth Day

Tenants have already begun moving into the six-story Bullitt Center, in advance of its grand opening on Earth Day, April 22. With the final touches nearly complete on the 50,000-sq. ft office building, which bills itself as the world’s greenest, its occupants are about to embark upon an unparalleled and very public experiment in sustainability.

Once settled in, they will be guinea pigs in a $30 million living laboratory distinguished by its composting toilets, strict energy and water budgets and a conspicuous lack of on-site parking.

To earn its environmental bragging rights, the Bullitt Center must complete a rigorous one-year certification process called the Living Building Challenge, which requires both water and energy self-sufficiency, among a list of 20 demands.

All its water will be supplied by rainwater collected in a 56,000-gallon cistern before being filtered and disinfected. A rooftop array of photovoltaic panels, extending beyond the building like the brim of a graduation mortarboard, will produce an estimated 230,000 kilowatt-hours a year, hopefully just enough to break even for a building that is 83 per cent more efficient than the city's typical commercial site.

The project’s backers, led by the environmentally minded Bullitt Foundation, hope to demonstrate that a carbon-neutral office space can be commercially viable and aesthetically stunning. With advertised lease rates of $28-$30 a sq. ft, the building is in line with comparable property.

The building has decided to forgo on-site parking. Instead, a space about the size of a three-car garage will be reserved exclusively for bicycles.

New York Times News Service


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