Green Building

Washington Public Utility
Districts Association

Location: Olympia
General contractor: Mountain Construction
Owner/developer: WPUDA
Architect: Helix Design Group
Engineers: Sunset Air, Sitts & Hill, Olympic Associates
Contract amount: $4 million

Photo courtesy of Mountain Construction
Mountain Construction installed 159 solar power panels on the roof of the Washington Public Utility Districts Association headquarters in Olympia. It is the largest such system in the state.

The Washington Public Utility Districts Association wanted to make a statement about environmental conservation with its new headquarters. It considered silver or maybe gold LEED certification, but after consulting with Mountain Construction’s design-build team, the team decided to aim higher. The result is the first new LEED platinum building in Washington.

Among the many state-of-the-art elements is the building’s roof. Mountain Construction installed 159 roof-mounted solar power panels, the largest such system in Washington. These generate half of the building’s power requirements. When the panels produce surplus power, it is sold back to the grid. Plus, the standing seam roof is rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council. It reduces heat absorption and buildup, thereby reducing the urban heat-island effect.

WPUDA told Mountain Construction: “Your firm has demonstrated high standards of professionalism, expertise and creativity. It is a credit to your firm that the project was finished on time and on budget, especially since the solar power system and other features needed to achieve LEED platinum were added after design was well under way.”

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