From the looks of this gorgeous building, you wouldn't think it was part of a water treatment plant, but the LOTT Clean Water Alliance in Olympia, Washington is all about cleaning water in plain sight. The new Regional Services Center, designed by the Miller Hull Partnership, is dedicated to water reclamation as well as water conservation and educating the public. With a LEED Platinum certification and a 2011 AIA COTE Top Ten Award, LOTT combines an office, education and technology center and provides wastewater treatment services to 85,000 people in four local communities.
Located on the site of its existing Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, the new facility provides space for a new water treatment laboratory, office space for all the district’s employees and the “WET Center” (Water Educational and Technology Center) for community outreach and childrens’ programs. The new four-story building was designed with a contemporary, industrial aesthetic, and serves as an iconic symbol for the neighborhood. The Miller Hull Partnership was able to reduce energy use by 50% within the building through the use of natural lighting, exterior louvers and energy efficient design. Reclaimed timbers from a warehouse that was demolished near the site were used in construction of the building.
A public plaza and pond surrounding the building is the heart of the facility and part of the low energywater reclamation system. Water from the pond is used for irrigation, toilet flushing, industrial uses and irrigation for the green roof on top of the building. In order to enter the building visitors must cross over one of two bridges over the pond and interactive exhibits explain the pond and the water reclamation system. Landscape design around the building focuses on native plant and water reduction strategies.
Images ©Nic Lehoux