Announcing New Program Changes at the Bullitt Foundation Grantees, Colleagues and Friends: Starting with the next round of grant applications submitted this spring, the Bullitt Foundation will shift its grant making exclusively to the Emerald Corridor—the region bounded by Vancouver, BC to the north, Portland to the south, and the Cascades to the east. Our goal is to transform the Corridor into a...
Deep Green Buildings
We will promote huge leaps in the built environment to address the needs and conditions of the 21st century.
Using the Bullitt Center as a touchstone, the Deep Green Buildings program promotes huge leaps—as opposed to incremental shifts—in the built environment. It promotes the construction of commercial and residential buildings that implement designs, materials, and technologies that are most relevant to 21st century needs and conditions, including the impending changes to our region’s climate. Deep Green Buildings emphasizes actual building performance instead of installed measures or attribute checklists. It encourages the development of structures with very long design lives and inherent flexibility to adjust to an uncertain future. It seeks to create broad industry and consumer acceptance of buildings that operate as components in a larger, ecologically resilient and sustainable neighborhood system; are comfortable, productive, healthy, and beautiful; and display the lightest possible environmental footprint. Ultimately, the program works to ensure that the Bullitt Center is the first of many buildings of its kind.
Design and Components
- Promote “integrated design processes,” where architects, engineers, and contractors work with the developer at every stage of the design process so there are no surprises—and no goal-destroying value engineering—after breaking ground.
- Demonstrate innovative approaches that solve multiple problems simultaneously.
- Push the boundaries of energy efficiency. The average commercial office building in Seattle uses more than 90,000 Btu/ft2. The Bullitt Center uses just 10,000, with no loss in comfort or productivity. The Deep Green Building program seeks to evangelize and normalize such leapfrog improvements.
- Promotes use of on-site energy sources such as building-integrated photovoltaics and attempts to overcome barriers to onsite energy storage.
- Encourages the use of rainwater collection technologies, cisterns, and decentralized water purification to provide healthy, reliable drinking water.
- Promotes innovative use of healthy, responsibly sourced, inherently non-toxic local materials.
- Encourages the region’s best architects and engineers to share experiences and databases to promote superb architecture throughout the Emerald Corridor.
- Maintain an abiding skepticism of skyscrapers as sustainable structures in general (and especially in this region with the perilous Cascadia subduction zone). Humans evolved close to the ground. Shorter buildings can rely on ambient sun and rain for all or most of their energy and water, creating more resilient communities.
- Convene dialogues, charrettes, and other gatherings as appropriate to foster creative and collaborative approaches to overcome barriers.
Finance and Regulation
- Establish strong working relationships with public, private, and non-profit leaders who are positioned to influence the pace and scale by which deep green building policies, technologies, and practices are adopted.
- Promote appropriate valuation for the financial and environmental externalities that deep green buildings mitigate.
- Promote policies, practices, building codes, and incentives that accelerate the widespread development of deep green buildings.