May 1, 2024

SLU multifamily project honored for water-conscious design


Photos by Michael Walmsley

This multifamily building has been awarded for its approach to reducing water consumption.

Sitka, a 384-unit multifamily development in South Lake Union, has been named the winner of the Seattle 2030 District 2024 Vision Award in the Water category.

The Seattle 2030 District is a public-private collaboration of building owners, designers, NGOs, and local government entities working to reduce building energy use, water use, and carbon emissions in downtown Seattle. District members commit to voluntary sustainability targets in their projects, including a 50% reduction in energy and water use by 2030.

The annual Vision Awards celebrate and honor the teams, individuals and projects working towards these goals. The water award recognizes leadership in reducing water consumption.

Sitka opened in 2018. It was developed by Vulcan Real Estate, designed by Runberg Architecture Group, and built by Exxel Pacific.

Sitka employs a greywater harvesting system that diverts water from showers and laundry for on-site landscape irrigation.

The 2030 District recognized the project for its sustainable approach to water conservation. The seven-story apartment building employs a Wastewater Heat Recovery System, which Vulcan says at the time of opening was the first of its kind in the country. The system captures heat from outgoing wastewater and reuses it for domestic hot water heating. To further reduce water use, a greywater harvesting system diverts water from showers and laundry for on-site irrigation of the project’s ample landscaped areas.

The Sitka apartments also employ an innovative energy design. Energy use is reduced via ductless heat pumps that both heat and cool units more efficiently than conventional radiant heaters.

In a press release, Vulcan said the building achieves the Seattle 2030 District targets of a 50% reduction in water use and an 80% reduction in energy compared to 2003 baselines.

Sitka is certified LEED Platinum and Salmon-Safe.

This latest honor adds to a robust list of accreditations recognizing Sitka’s sustainable design. Those include a Planet Positive Award from Metropolis; a PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Award for Best Innovative Energy Design; a NAIOPWA Night of the Stars Award; and both national and international awards from FIABCI.

The 2024 Vision Awards were held in Bellevue last week. Property owners, managers, architects, engineers, contractors, and community groups came together to celebrate building sustainability in the region. Awards were also given in the Energy, Transportation, and Leadership Vision categories.

The Energy award went to the South Lake Union Energy District (Alexandria Real Estate/McKinstry), the Transportation award went to The Spring District (Wright Runstad), and the Leadership award went to Sustainable Evaluation Framework Policy (Port of Seattle).

The District 2030 program was founded by Architecture 2030 in 2011. Seattle was the first city to host a 2030 District. That district currently covers 59 million square feet of real estate. Bellevue established a 2030 District last year.

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