This Week in Sustainability: Seattle’s Bullitt Center and How the Super Bowl Impacts Energy Use

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This Week in Sustainability: Seattle’s Bullitt Center and How the Super Bowl Impacts Energy Use

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clip_image002Earth911.com reports that in April, Seattle will be the home of the ‘Greenest Office Building in the World.’ Scheduled to open on Earth Day of this year, The Bullitt Center is a six-story, 50,000-square-foot building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, just outside downtown. The building will feature solar panels for energy, water from a harvested rainwater system, indoor composting toilets, natural lighting, a system of geothermal wells for hearing and a wood structure made out of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood. Developed by the Bullitt Foundation, a Seattle-based sustainability advocacy group, the building was designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge. Currently, the “Living Building” certification has been awarded to only three buildings worldwide. The story also received coverage in The Seattle Times, which published a longer piece for its Pacific Northwest Magazine.

clip_image004Elsewhere, The New York Times Green Blog posted an article on energy use and the Super Bowl. Opower, an energy consulting firm, conducted a study comparing electricity use on Super Bowl Sunday and ordinary Sundays with comparable weather conditions. Interestingly, Super Bowl Sunday used approximately 7.7 percent less power, varying slightly by region of the country. It seems the reliance on game-related appliances (TV, refrigerator) outweigh other commonly used appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and vacuums, ultimately lowering the total amount of energy use. In addition, often people gather together to watch the Super Bowl, thus limiting the total number of appliances in use. Opower predicts energy savings could reach $3.1 million.

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