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Bertschi School named first Living Building on West Coast


On April, 15, 2013, the Bertschi School’s Living Building Science Wing in Seattle, Washington, became the first Living Building on the West Coast and the fourth fully-certified Living Building in the world. Completed in February of 2011, the Living Building Science Wing adds a 3,880 sq. ft. interactive learning center to the independent elementary school in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

It is the first project to meet version 2.0 of the Living Building Challenge, widely considered the world’s most rigorous building performance standard. A Living Building is net zero energy, captures and treats its own water, and incorporates only non-toxic, appropriately sourced materials. A building must perform as designed for one full year of occupancy and pass a third-party audit before receiving certification.


To meet the requirements of net zero energy and non-toxic materials, the Restorative Design Collective and Skanska USA looked to Premier SIPs to provide structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the roof of the structure.

SIPs not only helped reduce energy use, but also reduced construction waste and were supplied from a nearby manufacturing facility.


Living Building Challenge case study

Skanska USA case study

Info on Living Building Challenge

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