At a Glance

The first office building to achieve “Living Building” certification not only sustains itself, but serves as inspiration to further sustainable design.

Project Description

The Bullitt Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to “safeguard the natural environment by promoting responsible human activities and sustainable communities in the Pacific Northwest.” The Foundation’s new home, the Bullitt Center is located in the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict of Seattle, Washington. The Center demonstrates that this organization truly lives its mission. The six-story, 52,000-square-foot building, an AIA COTE Top Ten, is the first office building to have achieved full certification under the most rigorous performance standards in sustainable construction: the Living Building Challenge.

Beyond “green,” the Bullitt Center is a self-sustaining, “living building.” It is the tallest building ever to implement a foam flush composting system. In 2014, it produced 60% more energy than it uses. To achieve the minimum net zero energy required in the Living Building Challenge, the building design integrated solar panels on the rooftop, active design to encourage stair use, rainwater harvesting and filtration, and greywater treatment through constructed wetlands, and several other strategies.

Biohabitats participated in the water infrastructure concept design for the Bullitt Center as part of an integrated design team led by The Miller Hull Partnership. Biohabitats also peer reviewed the final design with team members PAE and 2020 Engineering. Biohabitats continues to assist the Bullitt Foundation optimizing the water infrastructure systems including a planted greywater recirculating gravel filter that provides water for irrigation and groundwater recharge.

In addition to housing the Foundation, as well as the International Living Future Institute and the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab, the building aims to drive change in the marketplace faster and further by demonstrating what is possible in sustainable design.




Physiographic Province

Puget Trough


Cedar River–Lake Washington

Expertise Areas

Infrastructure, Research & Development, Urban Ecology, Water


Bullitt Foundation


Seattle, Washington, United States

Project Team
  • The Miller Hull Partnership