July Breakfast: Innovative Projects 2016 [July Breakfast Recap]

Innovation is the watchword of our industry. As a great sage from bygone days said, “He who is not busy being born is busy dying.” Our July Breakfast highlighted some innovative projects that have been completed in our area. John Teutsch began the meeting and outlined the new members, plus previewed our next Breakfast Meeting, A Tale of Two Cities on September 21, and the Property Tour on July 21. Kris Glandon spoke about the Community Enhancement Project at New Start High School on September 24. Finally, Kip Spencer from SECO outlined the new South Port development in Renton.

SECO Development, Lease Crutcher Lewis and Baylis Architects sponsored the meeting and we appreciate their continued support.

Chris Beza of Callison Architects moderated the panel which included:

  • Matt Grunert – CollinsWoerman
  • John Savo – NBBJ
  • Susan Jones – AtelierJones

Matt began by talking about the 47+7 Project in the U District. Matt’s contention is that innovation is not necessarily a practice but an outcome. This project utilized pre-fabricated units in a seven-story multi-family building. The outcomes from this pre-fab approach includes:

  • Faster construction
  • Reduced energy use (the average electric bill for the tenants is $5 per month!)
  • High end amenities
  • Custom finishes
  • Sustainable mechanical systems (heat and hot water are generated by the building for 10 months of the year)

John spoke of the new Rufus 2.0 headquarters of Amazon. He describes it as a multi-cultural, high-tech high-rise. Some of the notable elements are:

  • Located near transportation alternatives
  • Public open space
  • Retail
  • Breaking the barrier of same old styles with the color of the building

John went on to talk about some of the unique features including operable windows, the cultural responsiveness of many stories in many languages, multiple work environments that lead to:

  • Serendipitous experiences
  • Encouragement of active living
  • Working and thinking differently

Susan spoke about Cross Laminated Timber construction (CLT), highlighting a house and a church. The big innovations with the use of this technology are:

  • Lowered carbon footprint
  • Use of small diameter wood that takes best advantage of our forest growing practices

Currently, there are height restrictions for buildings using this technology, but Susan is confident that future standards will allow this construction to be used in a wider variety of projects.

The audience asked questions of each participant and John Teutsch closed the meeting. The audience left with some new ideas which we hope to see in the next innovative projects program.

This article was written by NAIOP Washington State and Programs Committee member Edward Scherer, Account Executive, Avidex Industries, LLC.

Photos: Washington State Convention Center Addition design proposal courtesy LMN Architects; Matt Griffin, Managing Partner, Pine Street Group.

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