Bridgette Meinhold

Green School On Track To Become Washington State's First Certified Living Building

by , 02/09/11

Bertschi Science Wing, Bertschi School, Living Building, Restorative Design Collective, KMD Architects, Eco school

The Bertschi Science Wing is a 1425 square foot addition to the existing campus and will serve as a learning tool for the students. Collected rainwater will flow through a tunnel in the classroom so the water can be tested and then collected for later use in cisterns. An ethnobotanical garden will teach the children to grow and harvest their own food. Monitoring equipment for the building’s net zero, solar energy system and more will be visible to students. Additionally, the new wing also features a composting toilet, a living wall that reclaims grey water, a green moss-mat roof, natural ventilation and radiant floor heating.

Design for the new school wing was achieved through a collaboration between leading green building professionals from the Pacific Northwest called the Restorative Design Collective. This group, led by KMD Architects, offered their design services for free to the school, in part to gain experience in designing to meet the Living Building requirements. Members of the Restorative Design Collective and its collaborators include;  GGLO, 2020 Engineering, GeoEngineers, Quantum Consulting, Rushing, O’Brien and Company, Morrison Hershfield, Back to Nature Design LLC, Parsons Public Relations and Skanska, as well as the City of Seattle and King County.

The Bertschi Science Wing was designed to meet the Living Building 2.0 standards and will spend the next year monitoring its efficiency. Only after a year of monitoring may a building be certified as a Living Building. Currently, there are only 3 certified Living Buildings in the US and none of them are in Washington. The official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place this Friday.

+ Berschi School

+ KMD Architects

Images ©Bertschi School

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