Innovative and efficient Seattle project to be recognized at Commercial Real Estate Conference
September 10, 2015
NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, today announced Seattle-based Vulcan Real Estate as the recipient of its 2015 Sustainable Development Award. The award is given annually to honor a commercial real estate developer for an outstanding project that incorporates innovative sustainable solutions, resulting in an environmentally efficient and economically successful property.
NAIOP selected Vulcan for its development of the Stack House Apartments and Supply Laundry Building – a historic landmark renovation. The project encompasses a full block in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, immediately north of the CBD. At the outset of the project, Vulcan made a commitment to maintain and enhance the block and character of the neighborhood through ultra-sustainable building practices, historic preservation and a mix of market-rate and affordable housing.
“It is an honor to be recognized nationally by NAIOP,” said Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate for Vulcan Inc., “The scale of Stack House and mix of uses, including historic preservation, allowed us to maximize creativity, combining new and old technologies to develop a project that is a model of sustainability.”
Both leasing velocity and rental rates are evidence of strong market acceptance. The Stack House Apartments southeast building, which features 90 of the 278 homes, was 91 percent pre-leased before the first tenant took occupancy in August 2013; the entire apartment community was 95 preleased leased within seven months of the October 2013 completion. The commercial building is 100 percent leased to Amazon.com and Rigoletto, an Italian restaurant. The project also attracted a small urban grocery store that is a significant amenity both for the residents of Stack House and the surrounding community, where there are 2,700 residential units within just three blocks.
“Vulcan has an extensive history of developing iconic sustainable projects that set the bar within the industry,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP President and CEO. “Their approach proves that efficiency and sustainability are tied directly to profitability, and their innovative tactics are advancing both commercial and residential real estate. Clearly, Vulcan is at the forefront of sustainable development and NAIOP is proud to recognize them for their commitment and achievements.”
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
The Stack House Apartments and Supply Laundry Building incorporates high-performance features, including:
- A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system is specified as the Supply Laundry Building’s standard mechanical system; it can efficiently transfer heat and cold air from one area of the building to another and is designed to give the tenants more control over cooling and heating, but also requires far less energy than a traditional HVAC system.
- A reverse-cycle chiller that is 2.5 times more efficient at heating domestic hot water than a traditional gas-fired boiler system. The chiller transfers ambient heat from the garage via an air source heat pump to heat domestic water, greatly reducing energy demands.
- Swales in 12- and 18-foot-lengths intercept and clean storm water runoff from a 435-acre storm water drainage basin on nearby Capitol Hill. Filled with native sedges and rushes, the healthy plants and soil remove approximately 92 percent of the street runoff contaminants of 190 million gallons of storm water annually, before discharging to nearby Lake Union.
Vulcan entered into a partnership with the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development and Preservation Green Lab, an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to pilot a performance-based energy code compliance path. The performance-based path gave Vulcan greater flexibility in meeting energy code requirements without compromising historic preservation priorities. Vulcan agreed to exceed minimum code performance (through actual post-occupancy performance measurements), setting a goal to reduce the building’s energy use by more than 50 preleased compared to an established national baseline performance.
Certifications and Honors
As a result of Vulcan’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency, the Stack House Apartments and Supply Laundry Building have been recognized with the following certifications:
- U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes Mid-Rise Platinum certification for each of the two Stack House apartment buildings.
- Targeting LEED-CS Gold certification for the Supply Laundry Building.
- A Walk Score® of 94, and as many as 40 preleased of the Stack House residents live within walking distance of their jobs.
The award will be presented at NAIOP’s Commercial Real Estate Conference 2015 on October 14 in Toronto, Ontario. For additional information about the award, please visit www.naiop.org/sda.
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About NAIOP: NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate. NAIOP comprises 18,000 members in North America. NAIOP advances responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy. For more information, visit www.naiop.org.