WatershedSee The Collaboration
Kristen Scott, AIA, LEED AP BD+C , Senior Partner
Tyler Kuenzi, Project Manager
Evan Maros, Engineered Products Representative
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.
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) worked in close collaboration with the design and install teams to ensure the building envelope flawlessly united the energy and general sustainability goals with the design vision of Weber Thompson.
The architectural curtain wall utilized a combination of Reliance™ Unit Wall unitized solution and Reliance™ TC. The podium of the building, which includes 5,000 square feet of retail space, incorporated OBE’s Series 3000 Thermal Multiplane storefront and MS-375 Thermal Composite Doors for the entrances. These products created a beautiful frame that allows building occupants to take in the expansive views and leverage the benefits of daylighting while also providing optimal thermal performance.
In all, the building design and sustainability targets were achieved without sacrificing a beautiful workspace. Watershed’s glazing solutions integrate the beauty of the outdoors, daylight, and sweeping views with aspirations to improve the environment. This approach appeals to the modern millennial workforce by promoting collaboration, driving productivity, and creating a sense of pride in protecting our future.
Today’s workforce wants to be in a space that supports good health, has great daylighting and is a joy to work in. Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® worked closely with our team to ensure we achieved our sustainability targets and vision for this beautiful, deep green building, setting a new standard for what modern commercial office buildings can achieve.
Kristen Scott AIA, LEED AP BD+C
"At Mission Glass, experience and craftsmanship allows for the collaborative efforts that lead to creativity in customizing installations to fit any and all requirements," said Tyler Kuenzi of Mission Glass. And, he continued detailing that delivering on Watershed and its deep green sustainability targets was no exception.
Watershed presented both unique opportunities as well as challenges given its stringent sustainability guidelines driven by the 2014 version of Seattle, Washington’s Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP) and the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) Materials, Beauty and Place Petals. Mission Glass sought products that provided best-in-class materials that would lessen unfavorable impact to human and ecosystem health. "Although many LEED standards have become commonplace and there are letters and certifications available from many manufacturers to meet these requirements," Tyler explained, "the LBPP and ILFI take it one step further requiring ingredient lists for all products which disclose 100% of the material ingredients. This made it crucial to not only choose the most favorable products but also know we had a building products manufacturer, like Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE), who was in this project with us and paying attention to these details.
"Unlike OBE, many manufacturers are unfamiliar with the vast array of sustainability certifications, and therefore, don’t have the necessary documentation readily available. This often requires careful explanation of what is required as well as planning for the additional time needed for the manufacturer to review and compile the information. This new level of product sustainability and focus on environmental impact will expectantly become standard practice as more manufacturers are probed to provide product openness and disclosure of nonproprietary ingredients. Mission Glass is supportive of starting the sustainability conversation early and hopes to begin to see a culture shift to push all manufacturers to become even more innovative in their product delivery while being mindful of the environment and the impact their products have along every step of the manufacturing process.
"Our outstanding working relationship with OBE was a key factor in successfully completing the Watershed project. We got quality, high performing products and had clear communication throughout the project build. And most importantly, we worked closely together to ensure we delivered systems that met Weber Thompson design requirements and reduced Watershed’s environmental impact."
There are numerous requirements that necessitate close communication and
feedback at all levels of the supply chain when working on an LBPP project. Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® worked in close collaboration with us to ensure we had full transparency of information and also provided all the documents necessary to meet qualifications in a timely manner to keep the project on track.
At Watershed’s inception, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) had the opportunity to sit down with the Weber Thompson design team to review the schematic design. At this point, it was evident Watershed was to meet high aspirations for green building and environmental design, including being only the third building to pursue the Seattle Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP). The goals for Watershed were to cut water use by 75 percent, reduce energy needs by 25 percent, and pursue Petal Recognition from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) focusing on the Materials, Beauty and Place Petals.
This meant OBE needed to consider architectural glazing systems that met the structural design, aesthetics and which could help positively contribute to improved thermal performance to aid in the energy reduction targets. The aluminum architectural glazing systems must also facilitate the building’s support of a materials economy that is nontoxic, transparent and socially equitable.
Using this knowledge of the project combined with familiarity of the local building codes, OBE engineered products representative Evan Maros, who is ACE Certified through NFRC, used his experience and skills to make glazing system suggestions appropriate for Watershed and its green environmental building targets. He also provided the standard product details and ran multiple CMAST bid reports using various glass types to help the Weber Thompson team specifically dial in on their energy modeling and targets.
Soon after, the drawings moved to the detailing phase of design development and the General Contractor, Turner Construction, and Glazier Contractor, Mission Glass, were selected to construct Watershed. Once OBE was officially awarded this project, OBE project manager Lucinda Wallace worked tirelessly to manage the document trail, ensured all Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® products complied with the Living Building Challenge (LBC) and International Living Future Institute (ILFI) requirements, and that the information was provided in a timely manner to keep the project on track for completion.
Products included in this project were a combination of Reliance™ Unit Wall unitized solution and Reliance™ TC for the curtain wall while the ground floor incorporated Series 3000 Thermal Multiplane storefront and MS-375 Thermal Composite Doors for the entrances.
Watershed was completed in Spring of 2020 and will be one of the city’s most sustainable buildings that impeccably integrates state-of-the-art design into a free-spirited bohemian neighborhood.
Although this project was not one of our largest jobs, knowing OBE was contributing to the achievement of energy reduction targets for this deep green building made it one
of the most rewarding projects I’ve recently worked on. I enjoy working with architects and the design community to help solve engineering and design challenges.
Engineered Product's Representative PNW