In late 2006 a growing O’Brien & Company moved into renovated offices in the historic Colman Building in downtown Seattle. Relocating from Bainbridge Island reduced the commuting footprint of its staff and improved the firm’s linkage with key services and partners. Built originally in 1890, the Colman Building was designated a historic landmark in 1972 and restored in 1985. Its history proved attractive as the building’s historic design provided a narrow floor plate and large operable windows offering natural light and ventilation. Also attractive was the location close to the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal, Seattle train station, and over 30 bus lines. The goal of the TI was to create a low-cost but sustainable office environment and experience LEED-CI from the perspective of a business owner and tenant.
Neither the property manager nor contractor were familiar with sustainable remodeling at the start, but were willing to negotiate and work with us as long as the bottom line wasn’t affected. The project budget was very tight, $23 to $25 per square foot. Pinnacle allowed O’Brien & Company early access to the space to hold an eco-charrette which Pinnacle, the real estate agent, and the architect all attended. In addition to the green features inherent in the building, our interior features a variety of sustainable strategies: reuse of existing partitions by adding relights to offices, painting the walls a light color and adding task lights to optimize the use of natural light, adding plants to improve indoor environmental quality, and showcasing green materials.