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How can a Net Zero, mixed-use facilities interact with an urban neighborhood to promote sustainability?

perFORM is a annual design competition, that in 2016 was it's third year. Every year a new design challenge is presented to it's contestants to design a Net Zero building in an Urban environment. My friend Sam Stuckey and I joined the competition as a team in 2016.

The design challenge for this year was to design a Net Zero mixed-use facility on a predominate corner in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, WA. There was a requirement to have a portion of the non-residential program to house a specific function of our choice that would benefit the surrounding community. With the Raineir Beach High School next door and a Community Center across the street this was an exciting opportunity to design something that will be an active and engaging sustainable node for the neighborhood.

Our design concept was to concentrate that liveliness and interaction on the busy corner; placing the non-residential function there. We chose to make a community event center at this location which housed Headstart and other child development programs, with rentable classrooms and banquet halls. The North and more private area of the site would house the residential towers that held 32 units ranging in sizes and contained private community gardens, a gym and a lounge for the residents; as well as amble bike parking. There is a large public courtyard with retail spaces that allows the community to interact with the event center and the adjacent high school. A monolithic amphitheater caps the East end overlooking the football field.

To achieve our sustainability goals we utilized a strategic building orientation, sloping roof shapes that housed a large solar array, geothermal heating, stack ventilation shafts between the units with wind turbines positioned above them, and an effective rainwater catchment system for the site. We were able to surpass our metric goals and achieve not only a Net Zero project, but energy production that surpassed the energy used on site over the calendar year.

Role: Co-Project Designer

Year Built: N/A

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