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News: Project Updates

Montana State University Completes Gallatin Hall

08.28.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

Montana State University’s (MSU) newest residence hall was designed with an emphasis on sustainability and the surrounding mountain landscape. Gallatin Hall encourages sustainable behavior through the building’s design and operation, including natural heating and cooling, daylighting strategies and the use of energy efficient appliances in each room. Mithun’s design also showcase’s MSU’s unique place in the region as a university focused on “Mountains and Minds” by incorporating design details that support outdoor activities and celebrate the surrounding mountain views. The building is on track for LEED Gold and AIA 2030 Challenge compliance.

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NW Asian Weekly: Green Architecture in Seattle’s Chinatown International District

08.20.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

In an article published by Northwest Asian Weekly, Casey Huang, Associate Principal at Mithun, discussed the sustainable design features of the recently completed Goodwill Job Training and Education Center and the soon-to-be-built Hirabayashi Place. As the number of green buildings continues to increase in the Chinatown International District of Seattle, the public has begun to ask: “what makes them green?” This article provides an overview of the LEED rating system and the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS), and explains how Mithun’s designs meet these standards.

To read the full article in Northwest Asian Weekly, visit

Harley Marine Corporate Headquarters Grand Opening

08.08.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

The grand opening ceremony for the Harley and Lela Franco Maritime Center is scheduled for August 27. Mithun designed the 47,980 square foot office on a designated Superfund site on the east channel of the Duwamish Waterway on Harbor Island in Seattle. The project goal was to balance marine industrial function with operational efficiency and to create one of the healthiest, sustainable working waterfronts. The building was designed into two wings linked by bridges at each level around a working atrium in the center of the building. The atrium is open to all levels and topped with a large skylight and operable vents. In addition, an innovative horizontal smoke curtain was installed to allow the atrium to have maximum openness and to avoid having a costly smoke evacuation system. The result is a true working atrium – the first like it on the West Coast.

The project is seeking LEED Gold certification, and was part of a pilot program by Seattle, King County and Washington State to incentivize industrial investment by offering flexibility for construction of new industrial buildings and rehabbing existing ones.

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Seattle DJC: Anthem on 12th Moving Forward

08.02.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

The plan for the first private mixed-use apartments in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood redevelopment has received design approval from the City of Seattle and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2014. Mithun designed the six-story building with 120 low-income housing units for residents who make less than 85 percent of the area median income. The developers, Spectrum Development Solutions and Gracorp Capitol Advisors, anticipate that the building will serve teachers, nurses, civil servants and others working in the surrounding area. Jake McKinstry, principal at Spectrum, was recently quoted about the project in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce:

“With all that Seattle has to offer in urban living, housing opportunities for the middle class near the downtown core and major employers are almost nonexistent,” said Jake McKinstry, principal at Spectrum. “This project is intended to serve those who don’t qualify for assisted housing yet can’t afford the new, market-rate housing in downtown, First Hill and Capitol Hill.”

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Seattle DJC Project of the Month: Brightwater Center

06.19.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

Brightwater Center is currently featured as the Seattle DJC’s project of the month. In the nearly two years since it opened to the public, the Center has become the premier place in the Northwest to learn about environmental stewardship and resource conservation. According to King County, nearly 6,200 people visited Brightwater in 2012 – a little over half of those visitors were students. The facility not only teaches the public about the water cycle, but it also helps people understand how personal actions impact the health and wellbeing of our community.

“At Brightwater Center, [visitors] learn about environmental protection. The building is intended to push concepts of sustainable construction to new limits, and make a statement about them at the same time.”

Read the full article at*.

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Goodwill Job Training and Education Center Opening Ceremony

05.10.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

Seattle Goodwill Industries’ new 49,562 square foot building will be introduced to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 1. Mithun designed the new job training and education center and administrative support services building with a goal to enhance Goodwill’s capacity to better serve the community.

Visit Goodwill’s website for more information about the opening ceremony and to find out how you can give back to your community.

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New York Times: Construction That Focuses on Health of Residents

03.14.2013 Mithun, Project Updates,

Mithun’s focus on health in the redevelopment master plan and urban design for the Denver Housing Authority’s (DHA) Mariposa redevelopment was recently featured in an article published by the New York Times. The plan is spearheading the movement for “design for health” and evidence-based design by incorporating a Health Impact Assessment (HIA), design strategies, and implementation recommendations that improve resident health through the neighborhood redevelopment.

In the article, Erin Christensen, Associate Principal, points to Mithun’s work on the High Point Community in Seattle as a groundbreaking early example of how design strategies can be linked to health. Because the community suffered from a high-rate of asthma, the team designed 60 Breathe-Easy™ homes that have proven through longitudinal studies to increase resident’s symptom-free days by 61% and reduce emergency room visits by 67%:

“As designers, that was the first that we had really seen a direct relationship shown between the built environment and the health of residents,” said Christensen.

The lessons learned at High Point informed green building standards including the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. The Mariposa redevelopment takes healthy design beyond the home and considers all aspects of physical, mental, and community well-being in a more comprehensive and holistic approach to neighborhood planning. By integrating a health impact assessment and community engagement early on, the team was able to identify what the community needed most to support healthy lifestyles. Using a public health lens, the best evidence available, and peer review, responsive design and programmatic strategies were incorporated into the project.

In 2012, Mithun helped develop the Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative for DHA to integrate health into every aspect of design, construction, and implementation of the Mariposa development. The Initiative launches campaigns and action plans for DHA to improve specific health goals, including the creation of the Mariposa Healthy Living Toolkit, an implementation guide for practitioners to incorporate health into neighborhood design, redevelopment, and construction.

Mithun was responsible for recommendations to incorporate art in the development to help support diversity and build social cohesion (one of the health determinants). This mural is featured on the recently completed 100-unit Tapiz building, designed by Brad Buchanan, RNL. The mural was designed by a local artist who worked with kids in the neighborhood.

Continue reading the New York Times article about Mithun’s effort to design for health at