Projects, Design

A Look Inside Watershed: One of Seattle’s Most Sustainable Buildings

Watershed is a 7-story, 72,000 square foot commercial office building, and the third project to pursue the Seattle Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP). Kristen Scott, Managing Partner of the multi-disciplinary firm Weber Thompson and the Senior Principal In Charge of the project, led the architectural design for this boutique deep green building completed in Spring 2020. Weber Thompson also provided Landscape Architecture services for the project.

Located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, the self-proclaimed center of the universe, the building sits in a thriving cultural hub with vibrant pedestrian traffic. One of its foremost challenges was to help clean the thousands of gallons of toxic stormwater from the neighboring historic Aurora Bridge (built in the 1930s) whose runoff water settles into the salmon-rich Lake Union. To solve this, Weber Thompson diverted water through biofiltration swales in the public right of way. Each year, this design helps clean up to 400,000 gallons of run-off water from the bridge before it reaches Lake Union. Also, about 200,000 gallons of Watershed’s roof water is collected and reused on site for toilet flushing and as irrigation water in the landscape.

In addition to stormwater reuse and potable water reduction, supplemental energy reduction targets were of major importance and required by the City of Seattle to participate in the LBPP. Watershed is pursuing Petal Recognition from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) focusing on the Materials, Beauty and Place Petals. As such, the building uses about 25% less energy than a code-compliant building, with a target EUI of 34 kBTU/sf/year. As part of the Materials Petal, the building supports a materials economy that is nontoxic, transparent and socially equitable.

View the full Case Study on Watershed.