Earth Day 2013: The World’s Largest Commercial Living Building, The Bullitt Center, Opens

Photo: PAE
Photo: PAE

What has been designed to become the world’s largest functioning, commercial Living Building, The Bullitt Center opened in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations in Seattle. The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and guided building tours, giving attendees the chance to explore the six-story super-green facility.

“Everyone at PAE is elated about the completion of this truly significant project,” said “The Bullitt Center will pave the way for future Living Building facilities of its size, a movement we feel passionate about and are certain will continue to grow as the industry looks to design more net zero energy and water buildings,” said Paul Schwer, president of PAE, a west coast engineering firm that will lease half of the top floor of the building.

The building is designed to use 83% less energy than a typical Seattle office building and achieve Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water through a variety of systems such as:

  • A high performance building envelope.
  • A layout designed to optimize natural light, an estimated 82% of the Center’s spaces will be lit by natural sunlight.
  • Careful coordination with tenants to reduce their “plug loads” by over 75% through the use of high-efficiency monitors, copiers, laptops, zero clients, and cloud based servers.
  • 26-bore, 400 foot-deep geoexchange HVAC system that will harvest energy from the earth to provide efficient heating and cooling.
  • Radiant floor system will efficiently heat and cool office spaces.
  • 242 KW roof-top photovoltaic array will provide all the net energy needed for the building.
  • Rainwater and greywater reclamation systems including a 56,000-gallon cistern to capture rainwater and a constructed wetland to treat greywater.
  • Foam flush, composting toilets reduce toilet water consumption by 96%.


  1. How many millions of energy renewal credits have they and will they purchase from a third-world sheep herder who is filtering ungulate flatulance through wool?

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