Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Seattle's Green Roofs

Seattle City Hall

Photo & Text Copyright 2008 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

No, it's not the architect's model; this is Seattle City Hall seen from the top of the Smith Tower. I've shown you other features of this civic complex from time to time, but this gives you the full picture of this Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "LEED" Gold certified "green" campus. Yes, that is grass on the roof (the same architects helped plan the Ballard branch of the library, which also has a living roof).

Just yesterday ground was broken at the parking lot across 5th Ave. from Seattle Center to begin construction of Seattle's newest complex to be built to LEED Gold specifications. It's the 900,000 square foot campus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The $500 million project includes a brilliantly planned visitors center and two six story office buildings. Iincluded among it's key "green" components are living roof systems like the one on the new multistory parking structure for Seattle Center, which is already finished and now open. The new Gates Foundation headquarters will be completed in 2010 and visitor center will open in 2011. Considering all the green grassy roofs popping up in Seattle, maybe Ma & Pa Ingalls' little soddy by the banks of Plum Creek was architecture way ahead of its time. ;^)


Jim Klenke said...

Maybe its green to blend in. No using google earth on those buildings.

The building I worked in when I was in Korea had grass growing on top, not to be green though.

I do think this is a good idea. How many years I have smelled that black tar when they redo roofs, and how hot they always got.

Anonymous said...

I am glad your city is going green in places. I like the grass on the roof and things like that. If only there was some alternative to cars so that a car owner could turn his car over and pick up that alternative.

Abraham Lincoln
—Brookville Daily Photo

Virginia said...

Are people allowed on the roof? Guess they cut it with a weed eater.

D said...

Love it! That would be the only place in a large city that I could bear to be, somewhere GREEN.

Anonymous said...

I love rooftop gardens. I went to a party once in New York held on top of the building in a sprawling rooftop container garden. I think all city rooftops should go green!

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog today. I really like your site, too! I haven't been to Seattle in far too long and your words and images make me want to schedule a trip.

Cool shot!


Chow Down Seattle said...

Great photo. It's so nice to see more and more LEED buildings going up around Seattle!

Jane Hards Photography said...

This is a fantastic idea. I do hope more ciites adopt this, especially in the uk. I am fortunate to live in a very green area, but it's the cities where we need to reclaim the green from the grey a little. Fabulous overview.

Marcel said...

I applauded anyone who builds green. However, I have also seen a lot of green washing and hope this is not one of those cases. To truly build green you have to think of the building materials from cradle to grave so to speak. In other words from extraction, to construction, to energy used to heating and cooling, to longevity, to eventually demolishing and disposing. The deeper I look into LEED I’m finding a lot of builders and manufactures of products that are anything but green but still hold the LEED certificate. They are just jumping on a bandwagon to profit. Needless to say I find that disturbing. The long and the short every consumer needs to do their homework before assuming they are building green. I would suggest that no one takes the LEED rating as proof positive.

You are right about Ma and Pa Ingall’s. The sod house was easy to heat, and cool. There was no expense energy in transportation or manufacturing of the building materials. And the building went right back to the earth with very little overall impact.

Jill said...

What a great shot Kim. It does at first glance look like a model. Appreciate the info and education.

Becky said...

Hey, I've seen buildings like that in Seattle before. When I was up in the space needle I noticed a couple. I was so excited - I wish more cities would catch on to that.

Louis la Vache said...

Another fine architectural post by "Kim Lloyd Wright."