Sept. 18, 2012Sustainable design that creates a healthy place for people to meet, work and learn earned King County’s Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center the honor of LEED® Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Thousands of annual visitors to the Brightwater Center can be proud of the LEED Platinum status, which represents a tremendous accomplishment in sustainable design,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The 15,000-square-foot Brightwater Center, which opened in 2011 to educate visitors about the environmental mission of the adjacent Brightwater Treatment Plant, puts the building’s sustainable features to work as a teaching tool.
The facility functions on renewable resources generated during the wastewater treatment process, harnessing methane for building heat and reclaimed water for non-drinking purposes such as toilet flushing and landscaping irrigation. Green energy is also supplied by the solar panels that generate hot water for sinks and provide electricity for computers and equipment.
Other sustainable features include skylights to reduce artificial lighting, natural ventilation to maintain building comfort without air conditioning, and furnishings made from recycled materials.
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The Brightwater Center efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”
The Brightwater Center features a community center and exhibit hall as well as classrooms and laboratory space suitable for students from grade school through college. The building is situated on a 70 acre site that transformed underused, environmentally damaged land into public open space that features three miles of trails, restored salmon habitat and forested wetlands, daylighted creeks and a natural stormwater system comprised of plants and swales.
Seattle-based Mithun led the design of the Brightwater education center to meet LEED Platinum standards. Design was also guided by a community advisory group that included local businesses, environmental groups, local Indian Tribes, education administrators and Friends of the Hidden River, a Bothell nonprofit organization comprised of local teachers dedicated to environmental education in the Puget Sound and surrounding regions. The group has to date raised more than $1 million in grant money to cover costs associated with the facility’s sustainable features and furnishings, and to develop its educational programs.
Location: Woodinville, Washington
Project management: King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Wastewater Treatment Division Prime Architect: Mithun
Engineers: CH2M Hill, Brown and Caldwell
Consulting Architects: Streeter and Associates
Master Planners and Landscape Architect: Hargreaves Associates.
Education Consultants: Sustainable Earth Associates
Education Planners and Exhibit Designers: Lehrman Cameron Studio
Arts Planners: Ellen Sollod, Buster Simpson, Jann Rosen-Queralt
Public Art Consultant: 4Culture
Computational Fluid Dynamic Modeling: Airflow Modeling Group – CH2M Hill
Daylight Modeling: Integrated Design Lab
More information about Brightwater Center is available online at http://www.kingcounty.gov/brightwatercenter.
Note to editors and reporters: Visit the WTD Newsroom, a portal to information for the news media about the Wastewater Treatment Division, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Newsroom.aspx