Monday, March 20, 2006

Green Architecture I
The Seattle Real Estate Blog VI

New development brings economic growth and increased density in our core urban neighborhoods, which in turn reduces our impact on the natural environment while making housing more affordable. Mixed use buildings that include retail and restaurants on the ground floor make life simpler and more convenient for people in the neighborhood while reducing the number of automobile trips people take to get their daily tasks done. Whether you’re a fan of Mayor Greg Nickels or not, his advocacy for increased housing density should be commended.

Green Architecture is coming on strong in Seattle, and this bodes well for all of us. The Seattle Public Library in Ballard was constructed with very high standards for having a low environmental impact. It has a green roof, which reduces the heat island effect, reduces polluted runoff from urban streets into our streams and insulates the building from heat in the summer and cold in the winter. This and other green architectural features are finally becoming more common in Seattle.

Also in Ballard is a new green condominium complex that will be certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The new Ballard condominium is called Hjarta, which is Icelandic for “heart”, and it is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2007. At seven stories, this green building will be the tallest building in Ballard. Its design has much in common with the Ballard Library, including a green roof and the use of porous concrete paving to reduce runoff into our streams and reservoirs. This will be the first LEED certified residential building in Ballard.

For more information about Green Architecture and Sustainable Rmodel in Seattle, take a look at LEED’s certified project list, the City of Seattle’s Sustainable Building page, the Environmental Home Center and future posts right here on The Seattle Real Estate Blog.

As always, your comments are welcome. Please post your comments through the link below, or send email directly to


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