The Living Building Challenge is an international green building certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability for buildings and landscapes possible today and acts to close the gap between current limits and ideal solutions.

The first urban infill commercial project to meet the Living Building Challenge was Seattle’s own Bullitt Center, home of the Bullitt Foundation. The project was also the first project in Seattle’s pilot program.

To help Seattle developers meet the Living Building challenge, the City allows land developers to request additional departures from the Seattle Land Use Code. To be eligible for this program, projects must:

  • Qualify for full design review
  • Not be in a shoreline zone
  • Reduce total energy usage by 75 percent, not including energy generated on site
  • Reduce total building water usage by 75 percent, not including harvested rainwater, as compared to baselines estimated by Seattle Public Utilities
  • Capture and use at least 50 percent of stormwater on site
The Seattle City Council recently approved the city’s second Living Building Project, Skanska USA’s Stone34 in the Fremont/Wallingford neighborhood.For meeting these challenges, the Stone34 developers are allowed to add 20ft of height to the project and put the ground floor to commercial use.
You can tour the Bullitt Center by appointment or you can check out a video tour on their website.