News: Project Updates
The City of Renton has recently received a 2012 VISION 2040 Award by the Puget Sound Regional Council for the Sunset Area Community Revitalization plan. The plan to redevelop the Sunset Terrace public housing community is a blueprint coordinating and phasing public investments to generate the greatest public benefit, integrating elements including mixed-income housing redevelopment, roadway improvements and pedestrian facilities, and a district stormwater strategy. In 2009, Mithun completed the Community Investment Strategy (CIS) for the City of Renton, in partnership with the Renton Housing Authority.
Brightwater Center has achieved LEED Platinum Certification – the highest level of sustainability within the USGBC’s rating system. The Brightwater Center opened in 2011 and offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the environmental mission of the adjacent Brightwater Treatment Plant, the region’s state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility that protects the waters of Puget Sound. In addition to classrooms and laboratory space for students of all ages, the facility also offers community meeting rooms for a variety of groups and events.
Designed and constructed to use 75% less energy than other educational and office facilities, the project employs sustainable design principles that include daylighting, natural ventilation, reclaimed materials and photovoltaic panels. Waste methane from the plant heats water for the radiant floors and reclaimed water is used for toilet flushing and irrigation. Mithun designed the Center in collaboration with CH2M Hill, Brown and Caldwell, Hargreaves Associates, and Streeter and Associates. The design was also guided by a community advisory group that included local businesses, environmental groups, local Indian Tribes, education administrators and Friends of the Hidden River, a Bothell nonprofit comprised of local teachers dedicated to environmental education in the Puget Sound and surrounding regions. King County has also formally partnered with IslandWood, a Bainbridge Island-based nonprofit dedicated to environmental education also designed by Mithun, to expand Brightwater Center’s educational programming. The American Institute of Architects Washington Council recently honored Brightwater Center with a 2012 Citation Award for Excellence in Civic Design.
Continue reading about the Brightwater Center in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce*.
This October, two Mithun projects will be featured in the University of Washington (UW) Landscape Architecture Department’s OUT/in/FRONT: Landscape Leading exhibit. The Landscape Architecture Professional Advisory Council and the UW Department of Landscape Architecture sponsor this annual fundraiser to inspire students and illustrate the breadth of work taking place in the profession. This year Mithun will feature 14th Avenue NW Park Boulevard, a project that reorganizes an arterial roadway to create a linear public park and a more walkable/bikable neighborhood, and Pacific Lutheran University’s South Campus Open Space Master Plan, a master plan that reclaims the University’s golf course with a native plant arboretum, native prairie restoration, and recreation sites.
For more information about the exhibit, visit www.larc.be.washington.edu.
The Grant County Public Utility District has broken ground on the new Wanapum Heritage Center. Situated along the Columbia River near the Wanapum Village, the design for the new center takes formal cues from the basalt cliffs of the surrounding landscape. A simple concrete form will house exhibits and Wanapum artifacts, while a wood and steel frame will provide the backdrop for the more active and community-based functions of the facility. The Wenatchee World discussed the design in a recent article:
“[…] the building’s design reflects the starkness of the surrounding landscape. Inside, the structure opens to large, western-facing windows with views of the river — a pillar of the Wanapums’ fishing and root-gathering culture — and of the band’s village and the mountains beyond.”
To read the full article about the Wanapum Heritage Center in the Wenatchee World, visit: www.wenatcheeworld.com.
Common Ground, an affordable housing development that aims to achieve net-zero energy consumption within the first five years, was recently featured in Greensource magazine’s Best Green Houses column. Mithun partnered with Lopez Community Land Trust to design these economically, environmentally and socially sustainable affordable residences. The homes were designed to reduce environmental impact through passive solar design principles and on-site, renewable energy sources. Mithun employees volunteered their time to help build the strawbale walls used inside the homes. One of the volunteers, Caroline Sneed, Special Projects Manager at Mithun, offered this insight:
“The key to success at Common Ground is the involvement of the homeowners from the very beginning. They bought into the project and helped to design it and build it, earning sweat equity and the knowledge of how to install and then maintain these technologies.”
Read more about Common Ground at www.greensource.construction.com.
While LEED® has become a household term, the recently developed Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) rating system for landscape architecture has just completed its pilot program. Spearheaded by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the United States Botanic Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the new initiative seeks to create international guidelines for sustainable site design. Included in the pilot program was Mithun’s Louisiana Children’s Museum: Early Learning Village. Debra Guenther, ASLA, helped to develop the system and was recently quoted in Greensource Magazine:
“It’s about accelerating change in the market,” says landscape architect Debra Guenther, a partner at Mithun in Seattle, who contributed to the initial development of SITES and has worked on several of its pilot projects. She believes that even though the technical know-how had already existed in certain circles, the rating system integrates the information so that more people can access it and apply it to projects. “It becomes a touchstone, a resource that you can point to and say that these are the best practices agreed upon by a range of experts in the industry.”
Read the full article online to find out more about the SITES rating system and the ecosystem services it supports at www.continuingeducation.construction.com
- Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce*: Comments due on landscape guidelines
Construction crews are beginning to lay tracks along several stretches of a 2.5-mile corridor in Seattle for the First Hill Streetcar. The $133 million project began in April and is scheduled to finish by spring of 2014. Mithun completed concept designs for the new streetcar in collaboration with URS Corporation and LTK Engineering Services. Stacy and Witbeck is the general contractor.
Continue reading about the construction of the First Hill Streetcar at www.djc.com*.