The VUE is a 111-unit apartment building in West Seattle that is seeking LEED Gold certification. Located on Avalon Way within walking distance of the nearby retail amenities, it will be the first apartment building in West Seattle certified under the LEED for Homes rating system.
The design and construction of the VUE – from the site selection down to fixtures and equipment in the units – demonstrates the “big picture” perspective of LEED for Homes certification on sustainable building. As an urban infill project, the building is closely connected to public transportation networks, retail stores and services. From the use of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances to the low-VOC paints, coatings, and finishes, the apartments are built to create a comfortable, healthy home environment while minimizing water and energy use. Many components of the building, such as the framing lumber and concrete pavers on the outdoor patio, were sourced regionally and contribute to the local economy while earning LEED materials credits. The roof includes a common area that offers sweeping views of the Seattle skyline and surrounding mountains that also contributes to LEED credits through the combination of highly reflective roofing and a large area of green roof planted with native plants. These roof elements help reduce heat gain in the summer months which lowers the energy needed to cool the building.
O’Brien & Company provided LEED for Homes testing and verification services, as well guidance and technical assistance to the project team. We worked with the project team from design to occupancy to ensure that the building not only stayed on track for LEED certification, but to also realize the value-added opportunities in the course of earning the Gold-level certification. With O’Brien & Company’s help, the project team identified and incorporated superior building durability and indoor air quality features such as entryway walk-off systems at building entrances to mitigate the impacts of the elements on the flooring throughout building and contaminants introduced to the air. From the early stages of the project, O’Brien & Company worked with the general and sub-contractors to emphasize the importance of tightly sealed units to reduce energy costs, improve building durability, and maintain healthy indoor air quality. The excellent work and attention to those details by the contractor resulted in the building earning additional credit (the most available) for enhanced unit tightness. Owing to the enthusiasm and commitment to sustainable building by the owner and diligence in execution by the project team, the final certification exceeded the initial goal level set for the project.
With occupancy underway in April 2013, the project is poised to earn Gold certification, which is expected in summer of 2014.
Construction Complete: 2014
Owner: The Vue at Avalon LLC
Developer: Paragon Development
Architect: Nicholson Kovalchick Architects
Contractor: Chinn Construction
Mechanical Contractor: GB Systems
Electrical Contractor: Independent Electrical Contractors
Landscape Architect: Thomas Rengstorf & Associates
Energy Modeler: 360 Analytics
Commissioning: FSi Engineers