Amazon Brings Sustainability To Seattle HQ Campus

Amazon’s first tower in its new headquarters campus in the heart of downtown Seattle will feature green roofing by Columbia Green Technologies (CGT) as part of the building’s sustainable design.

green roofing
An aerial view of Amazon’s green roof by CGT, with the new Seattle headquarters’ landmark spheres under construction in the background. (Credit: Columbia Green Technologies)

Amazon‘s campus, designed by NBBJ, is Seattle’s largest development. It encompasses approximately 3.3 million square feet on three city blocks, including three 37-story high-rise office towers, two mid-rise office buildings, and a multi-purpose meeting center that seats 2,000 people. To reflect Amazon’s community-focused culture, the design is more of a neighborhood than a campus, with emphasis given to ground-level amenities open to the public and to diversity in building character.

The first high-rise, named Doppler, was completed in 2015. At 37 stories tall, it contains offices as well as ground-level retail and restaurants, and it also links to the five-story, arena-style multi-purpose meeting center, which will serve the entire headquarters.

The centerpiece of the new Amazon headquarters will be the spheres: a multi-story, glass-enclosed workplace currently under construction that will contain tens of thousands of plants and trees from around the world.

The entire Amazon campus will feature plenty of open green space — including green roofs.

“We have the opportunity to do things right,” says Director of Global Real Estate & Facilities John Schoettler. “Our urban campus is part of the broader city scape and provides our employees with all of the urban amenities they would want. We also focused to ensure the environment we created is sustainable, a place employees will feel good about working in. These new green roof buildings help us do that.”

CGT has worked on green roofing projects in the Northwest, Canada, and along the East Coast. The CGT team transformed Amazon’s Doppler and Meeting Center rooftops to manage stormwater, retaining water that would otherwise flow into the city’s stormwater system.

“Green roofing has grown tremendously in the last few years because building owners are realizing the benefits of utilizing green roofs on empty space instead of having a retention tank,” said CGT CEO Vanessa Keitges. “Especially in an area where it rains a lot, this makes sense. More companies are also changing their building environments to make healthier places for people to live and work – greenery and green roofs are part of this.”