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Designed to be the greenest commercial building in the world, the Bullitt Center pushes the envelope in urban sustainability. It is designed to meet stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), using photovoltaic cells to generate electricity, recycling its own water and waste, and reducing energy use by more than 80 percent compared to an average office building. The building includes four stories of heavy timber-frame construction over a two-story podium; the frame is comprised of Douglas-fir glulam beams and columns, finished to an industrial appearance grade. The design team had expected to use a reinforced concrete frame because they thought they needed it for thermal mass, but when they considered the embodied energy and carbon footprint of the concrete, timber turned out to be a better environmental solution. To let in as much natural light as possible, the design required high ceilings and tall windows. The architect chose 2x6 lumber set on edge and nailed in place to create relatively shallow solid wood floor panels, which helped to increase daylight penetration.
Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT)
Miller Hull Partnership
RDH Building Science
Building Enclosure Consultant