Bertschi: What it Takes to Make it Green

Congratulations to the Bertschi Living Science Building team on winning the What Makes It Green (WMIG) award from the AIA Seattle Committee on the Environment (COTE). Out of 27 projects, the Bertschi School was one of four winners to take home the award for one of the best green projects in the Northwest  and Pacific region. The competition recognizes and celebrates projects that are committed to meeting 2030 Challenge and demonstrate the highest accomplishments in environmentally sustainable design.

“It’s the first Living Building 2.0 project in the world,” said KMD Architects Associate, Stacy Smedley. “Some of the most inspiring parts for us was getting the kids involved in the design process, and most of their ideas had to do with water.”

The Bertschi School Living Science Building, located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, is designed to be a learning tool for the students, impacting the way we interact in the world for generations to come. The teaching elements focus on:

  • All sustainable features, including monitoring equipment, are accessible and visible to students
  • The runnel is covered by removable glass tiles for educational water testing
  • Garden plants enhance the study of botany and anthropology and may be harvested for art projects
  • The composting toilet requires very little water and is not connected to the city sewer system