Hardhat tour of LEED Gold Neighborhood House construction site in West Seattle

I managed to arrange for a hardhat (and heavy shoes) tour of the new LEED Gold Neighborhood House under construction in West Seattle. Ray Li, the Director of Strategic Planning, will lead the tour.

The building: 20,000 square feet of classrooms, gathering spaces, social service offices, technology labs and more, located in the heart of the redeveloped High Point public housing community.

Green notes: Constructed with the environment in mind

•When certified, the Neighborhood Center will be the first LEED™ Gold-certified building constructed by a nonprofit agency in Washington, meeting the highest standards of environmental design and sustainability as designated by the U.S. Green Building Council.

•The building will use 244 solar panels to produce up to 50 percent of its own energy needs – the largest array of solar panels in the state of Washington.

•A ground source heat pump will significantly increase energy efficiency. By running a non-toxic fluid through underground piping, instead of coils exposed to constantly changing air temperature, the building’s heating and cooling system will take advantage of the relatively constant temperature of the earth to provide much more efficient heating and cooling.

•Natural daylight will illuminate nearly all regularly occupied spaces to reduce reliance on electric lighting. The building will use only electric power (no natural gas); because most of Seattle’s electricity comes from hydroelectric sources, the building will need very little fossil fuel to operate.

•Highly reflective roofing and light-colored paving materials will harmlessly reflect away heat rather than absorbing heat and then radiating it into the surroundings, avoiding the “heat island” effect typical of many buildings.

•Storm water runoff from the site will be slowed by using permeable paving materials and collecting rainwater from the roof in a cistern and series of rain gardens.

•Ninety-five percent of construction waste will be recycled.

•Reinforced concrete will contain high levels of recycled fly ash (an industrial by-product), replacing some of the cement typically used, which requires large amounts of energy to produce. Steel used for reinforcement also will contain a high percentage of recycled material.

•To ensure optimum indoor air quality, the use of low- or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints, sealants, coatings and adhesives will reduce or eliminate the cancer-causing off-gassing that occurs in most buildings, as does the elimination of added urea-formaldehyde in wood and agrifiber products.

“This new building, this crown jewel is important for Neighborhood House but also for the country and for the world. It will change the conversation about social uplift and the environment. This is an extraordinary, bold, breakout move. Neighborhood House should be applauded and supported for taking this first step.”

~ Van Jones / Nationally recognized environmentalist and social activist and now Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality

More Information: Green Spaces Real Estate Meetup
Date & time Wednesday, May 27, 2009 7:30 AM
Location Commons Park – High Point (West Seattle)
32nd Ave SW & SW Sylvan Way (32nd is posted as SW Lanham Place)

“ Meet at the amphitheatre on the south side of the “view mound” along 32nd (Lanham) ”

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