2021 Energy Competition

Last month, the Seattle 2030 District announced that we are hosting a design competition, which will take a few existing buildings and show what it will take to get from their current performance to net-zero energy (ZNE). Ideally, it would demonstrate progressive changes needed to get to ZNE by 2030, called Zero Over Time (ZOT), by mapping out the necessary equipment upgrades to align with capital expenditure.

Since announcing the energy design competition, we have received many nominations from building owners who wanted to participate. We have chosen three of those buildings, which we feel represent the challenges the buildings face and the type of buildings we have within the Seattle 2030 District. The buildings are:

1111 Third Avenue

Unico 1111 Third Ave building

A large commercial office building (574,000 sq ft.) in the Downtown Core that is owned and managed by Unico Properties. The building was constructed in 1980 and is a 34 floor high-rise building. It is conditioned by building-integrated air handling equipment serving the building from floor 19 so changes will be very custom. This massive system is very difficult to control optimally. All heating is by electric resistance at VAV terminal equipment.  The building has a pre-covid EUI of 53.4 with a 2030 baseline of 100.7.

Lincoln Court Apartments

Lincoln Court Apartments

Lincoln Court is a 114-year-old building with a budget that cannot sustain the energy reduction goals that its provider, Community Roots Housing (CRH), would set for it if it could. Built in 1907, it is a 21,700 sq. ft. of affordable housing plus 3,775 sq. ft. of parking with a EUI of 74.8 with a baseline of 44.1. The building relies on a hydronic boiler to route heated water to radiators located in its units, where there are also supplemental electric baseboards. The boiler itself is an older unit due for replacement in 2023. Lighting in common areas and units includes various screw-in and pendent-hung luminaires with incandescent lamps. CRH seeks to replace the boiler and upgrade all lighting to LED. The organization would like to explore scenarios with the Seattle 2030 District that would make such upgrades attainable while also developing a more sustainable financial strategy that could serve as a model for other buildings facing similar challenges.

Ballou Wright Building

Ballou Wright Building

A historic building located in Capitol Hill is owned and managed by Hunters Capital. This 32,000 building has several smaller tenants in 1400 sq. ft. units, all with different energy needs, budgets, ideas on ideal temps, etc. It is a long, narrow building (120 ft. deep) with zero lot lines on the N and S sides, so it's critical to get as much light from the E and W elevations from oversized windows. These windows solve the light problem, but add to the heat problem in the summer and cooling problem in the winters. There is one large suite on level 1 with 24 ft. ceilings and a big window wall along the W side. This area is hard to keep temperatures comfortable because of the volume of space within and the heat rising. The building has a pre-covid EUI of 38.9 with a 2030 baseline of 77.8.

We are opening our form for the expression of interest for architects, engineers, and general contractors to create a team to develop energy improvements for the buildings; you can choose one or all three. Once we have the teams set up, we will organize a meeting with the building owners to present the buildings and answer any questions. There will be an opportunity to meet with the owner/manager several times throughout the competition.

To express interest in the competition and submit a team, please fill out the Google form. Email Matthew Combe for more information.