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Seattle’s Bullitt Center is being heralded as the greenest, most energy-efficient commercial office building in the world. It’s not that the six-story, 50,000-square-foot building is utilizing never-before-seen technology. But it’s combining a lot of different existing technologies and methods to create a structure that’s a showpiece for green design--and a model for others to follow.
Solar installations don’t usually face big legislative hurdles. But rainwater harvesting is a little more difficult. Hayes believes that the Bullitt Center is the first conventional office building in the U.S. to get all of its water from rain--specifically, from a cistern in the basement that can hold 56,000 gallons of water. Tenants are expected to use about 500 gallons of water per day, so the cistern should theoretically be able to keep the building hydrated during a 100-day drought (not that that’s likely to happen in Seattle anytime soon).