Olympia— The Washington Public Utility Districts Association's new solar-powered headquarters building in Olympia has received "Platinum" certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
The WPUDA headquarters, which boasts the largest rooftop solar installation in the state, is the first new-construction office building in Washington to achieve Platinum certification — the highest rating possible under the LEED program.
When WPUDA decided to move its offices from Seattle to Olympia, it hired Olympic Associates Co. as project manager. Olympic Associates put together a design-build team led by Mountain Construction and the Helix Design Group. Other design-build team members were Sunset Air, Sitts & Hill Engineers, Electric Systems, Tacoma Plumbing, and Smith Fire Systems.
The result is a distinctive, two-story office building in the 200 block of Union Avenue, within view of the state Capitol. WPUDA occupies the second floor, with lease space below.
The project, which broke ground in August 2006, received a substantial boost toward LEED Platinum certification when REC Silicon — a Grant County-based subsidiary of the REC Group that produces high-grade polysilicon for use in solar panels and computers — agreed to donate 160 solar panels for the building.
Even on overcast days, the 34-kilowatt solar installation generates more than enough electricity to meet the building's daytime needs, with the surplus sold to Puget Sound Energy through net metering.