Green building

Pacific Plaza

Location: Tacoma
General contractor: Absher Construction Co.
Owner/developer: City of Tacoma, Pacific Plaza Development LLC
Architect: BLRB Architects
Engineer: PCS Structural Solutions
Contract amount: $25 million

Photo courtesy of Absher Construction Co.
Pacific Plaza, a former parking garage, is now capped with a 30,000-square-foot green roof.

Absher Construction rehabilitated a parking garage nearing the end of its useful life in downtown Tacoma.

Pacific Plaza, now a 257,000-square-foot office mid-rise, earned the city’s first LEED platinum rating.

The building is capped with a 30,000-square-foot green roof that absorbs rainwater and naturally filters out the impurities. A cistern that sits 15 feet below street level captures the runoff, storing it for rooftop irrigation and toilet flushing. The cistern is a well-preserved remnant of a Turkish bathhouse that operated in downtown Tacoma in the late 19th century.

The building was designed to use 28 percent less energy than average. Other green achievements include the reuse of 78 percent of the existing structure. Nearly all of the construction and demolition waste — 98 percent — was diverted from the landfill, and 36 percent of the materials used were recycled.

Tacoma’s mayor called the project “a truly unique achievement.”

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