Photo: John Stamets

Wood shines in sustainable 'Show & Tell'

Described as the greenest commercial building in the world, the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington pushes the envelope in urban sustainability. The six-story, 52,000-square-foot structure is designed to meet stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge (LBC).

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Described as the greenest commercial building in the world, the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington pushes the envelope in urban sustainability. The six-story, 52,000-square-foot structure is designed to meet stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge (LBC)—using photovoltaic cells to generate enough electricity to sustain the needs of its tenants, recycling its own water and waste, and reducing energy use by more than 80 percent compared to an average office building.

And yet, at the heart of this state-of-the-art structure lies a heavy timber frame—a traditional building system that is increasingly being used in new and innovative ways.