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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the Largest LEED Platinum Non-Profit Building in the World
The new campus occupies a site located in downtown Seattle across the street from the Space Needle. Formerly an asphalt parking lot, the site was restored with more than 40 percent of it turned into 2 acres of living roofs and native landscaping around the buildings. “The project started seven years ago with the initial target of LEED Silver, in support of the City of Seattle’s green building mandate,” said Margaret Montgomery, principal and lead sustainable designer at NBBJ. “Our main goal was to design the right building for the foundation staff and surrounding community. It just so happened that the best solutions were also the greenest.”
To achieve LEED Platinum, the Foundation and its design team worked diligently to incorporate a number of sustainable strategies into the project. Reduced energy usage was achieved by installing energy efficient mechanical systems and lighting, along with occupancy and daylighting sensors, use of natural ventilation and high performance glazing. A 750-thousand gallon water storage system minimizes energy used to cool buildings by chilling stored water at night for recirculation during the day. Additionally, 47 evacuated tube solar collectors on the roof provide hot water to the campus, reducing the energy use by 30% and saving 4,750 therms of natural gas every year. In total, the energy efficiency strategies reduce energy use by 40% and the upfront investment will pay for itself in 30 years.
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