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February 9, 2007

Architects go from green to gold

Image courtesy of Weber + Thompson [enlarge]
The courtyard at Weber + Thompson’s new headquarters will allow cross ventilation in the office spaces.

Weber + Thompson designed its new $10 million South Lake Union headquarters to dramatically cut energy usage and achieve LEED gold core and shell certification.

When finished in the spring of 2008, the four-story structure will be the first privately developed building in Seattle to reach LEED gold, according to Weber + Thompson.

The 40,000-square-foot building will be at Thomas Street and Terry Avenue North.

The building will be cooled through operable windows, a courtyard that allows cross ventilation and exterior shades to block sunlight.

The roof will be coated with a light-colored compound to reflect heat. Automated louvers in the exterior walls will connect to carbon dioxide sensors inside and open to circulate fresh air. The design team estimates the building will use 30 percent less energy than a traditional office building with air conditioning would use.

In addition, all workstations will be located near windows to take advantage of natural light.

“Before the start of schematic design, we asked our staff what they most wanted in their work environment,” said Scott Thompson, AIA, a founding principal at Weber + Thompson. “Operable windows and fresh air were at the top of the list.”

Weber + Thompson will use 25,000 square feet, and Weber Marketing, which is not related to W+T, will occupy 6,000 square feet. Commercial real estate broker Stephen C. Grey of Stephen C. Grey & Associates is leasing the rest of the space.

First Western Development is the developer, and Rafn Co. is the general contractor.

The mechanical engineer is Stantec Consulting, the civil engineer is DCI Engineers and the structural engineer is DCI Engineers.


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