The Seattle 2030 District has awarded the 2015 Visionary Award for Energy to Henbart Commercial Real Estate for the Lake Union Building. Transforming a 45-year-old building into one that will create a sustainable legacy for the next 45 years, Henbart retrofitted the structure with energy-saving lighting and an HVAC system embracing a smart buildings approach. Although these upgrades provided initial improvement, Henbart soon found that the building’s single-paned windows were decreasing both efficiency and tenant comfort. Letting in heat and glare in the summer plus cold air in the winter, the windows were counter-acting the effectiveness of their energy investments.
To address this problem Henbart researched several solutions, finally settling on placing the largest installment of View electrochromic windows in Seattle on all four sides of the building. The year-round electrochromics lighten and darken with the sun’s intensity to help maintain a consistent building temperature. The initial outcomes are promising; the building’s EUI is projected to drop from 88 to 60.4 in 2016. The Seattle 2030 District played a key role in introducing Henbart to the new technologies and in enrollin the building in Seattle City Light’s pay-for-performance pilot – one of 3 total that are measuring energy savings in exchange for receiving ongoing incentives from the utility.
Given the Lake Union Building’s unique waterside location, access to views have always been a tenant priority. Thanks to the windows, there is no longer a need to close the blinds on hot sunny days; this allows for year-round views of Lake Union and nearby Gasworks Park. The efficient windows also require less regular maintenance to regulate temperature and light, resulting in both increased user-enjoyment and property values. Henbart’s long-standing commitment to ingenuity lets the Lake Union Building capitalize on the strengths of its past while embracing the efficiencies of the future.